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Identity Theft

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NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | April 8, 2010
HAGERSTOWN -- Shred, shred, shred. That's one of the best ways to keep identity thieves at bay, Washington County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Christopher Howard said Wednesday. He said many people immediately throw away junk mail. But pieces that contain a name, address or other information can help thieves who find it later. Howard and Detective Arnold B. Cerezo spoke Wednesday morning about how criminals hijack personal information and how would-be victims can prevent it. The presentation at the Academy Theatre Banquet & Conference Center was part of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce's "Eggs and Issues" series.
NEWS
October 6, 2011
Identity thieves have broadened their reach by obtaining children's inactive Social Security numbers and using them to illegally get jobs, credit accounts, mortgages or car loans and much worse. Many victims, because they are children, have no idea there is a problem until they apply for a student loan, bank account, job or apartment and are turned down because of poor credit history. Each person's Social Security Number (SSN) is unique, so it is not uncommon for schools, healthcare providers, insurance companies and others to require that parents provide a SSN as an identification tool.
LIFESTYLE
November 21, 2012
TRIAD of Washington County, a senior citizen advocacy organization, will have a free seminar from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Western Maryland Hospital Center Auditorium, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown. Deputy 1st Class Carly Hose, public information officer and crime prevention specialist with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, will discuss "How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft and Scams. "
NEWS
May 8, 2010
Q. What steps can people take to prevent identity theft? A. Washington County Sheriff Department Cpl. Jim Holsinger, an adviser with SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together), highlighted one overlooked idea. Most people are careful with their personal information - their Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and so on. But there is one place where these numbers are sometimes readily available: the curb in front of their house. "Your trash - until it's buried in the landfill, it's a vulnerability," Holsinger said.
NEWS
by DAVID DISHNEAU | January 10, 2004
A team of identity thieves headed by an illegal Chinese immigrant obtained more than $1 million worth of phony credit cards and charged merchandise to people whose account numbers they got off the Internet, police said Friday. The ring allegedly run by Jian Ping Wang, 38, of Frederick, Md., was one of the biggest in the Washington-Baltimore area, Secret Service Agent Jeff Gappert said. Wang was jailed in Frederick County, with bail set at $75,000, charged with multiple counts of credit card counterfeiting and illegally possessing equipment to produce credit cards.
NEWS
November 1, 2004
Monday Nov. 1 9 p.m. on Lifetime "Identity Theft: The Michelle Brown Story" Kimberly Williams-Paisley stars as a woman who fights to clear her name and credit history after a stranger named Connie (Annabella Sciorra) steals her identity. Connie buys hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise and services in Brown's name - and then tries, through cosmetic surgery, to take on Brown's appearance. 9 p.m. on ABC Monday Night Football Longtime AFC rivals the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets meet in New York.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | April 2, 2012
Rebecca Jean Ferguson, a former Berkeley County public school teacher, is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to eight counts of identity theft in Berkeley County Circuit Court. Ferguson, 40, of 10245 Williamsport Pike in Falling Waters, W.Va., set up eight credit card accounts using her then-14-year-old daughter's name, according to testimony at a 2 1/2-hour pretrial hearing Monday before 23rd Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes. The plea bargain calls for Wilkes to sentence Ferguson to serve a maximum of 10 years in prison.
NEWS
by RICHARD F. BELISLE | April 30, 2004
waynesboro@herald-mail.com WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A 58-year-old man was arrested by police in Montgomery County, Md., after he attempted to identify himself as the owner of a car he is accused of stealing from a Waynesboro resident, court records said Thursday. Dean Criswell Fitz, 58, no fixed address, was charged with running up $3,187.23 on the credit card of the car's owner and withdrawing $6,200 from his bank savings account, police said. Fitz faces two counts of identity theft and 46 counts of access device fraud, according to an affidavit of probable cause on file in District Justice Larry Pentz's Waynesboro office.
NEWS
January 17, 2006
The Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council, in conjunction with United Auto Workers Local 171, is hosting a presentation to help people protect themselves against identity theft. Fred Burton, an expert on identity theft prevention, will speak at the presentation Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. at the UAW Local 171 Hall, 18131 Maugans Ave. It is expected to last one hour. For information, contact Bobby Fouche at 301-739-9500.
NEWS
January 22, 2006
The Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council, in conjunction with affiliate United Auto Workers Local 171, will hold an educational presentation designed to help people protect themselves against identity theft. Fred Burton, an expert on identity theft prevention, will present the program to be held at UAW Local 171 Hall at 18131 Maugans Ave. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m., according to a prepared release. The public is invited to attend the hour-long presentation. For information, contact Bobby Fouche at 301-739-9500.
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NEWS
Lynn Little | February 28, 2013
For the past 15 years, a coalition has worked to share tips and information about privacy protection, money and debt management and recognizing identity theft, frauds and scams. University of Maryland Extension - Washington County is joining the coalition of government agencies, advocacy organizations and private sector groups nationwide to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), Sunday, March 3, through Saturday, March 9, with shopping strategies and consumer tips to empower you to make better buying decisions and protect your rights in the marketplace.
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LIFESTYLE
By BOB GARVER | Special to The Herald-Mail | February 11, 2013
After its first act, "Identity Thief" becomes a predictable, mildly amusing road trip comedy. This is actually a really good creative decision because the film is effectively cutting its losses after realizing that it can't keep milking laughs from identity theft. I can accept that it's supposed to be funny to see Melissa McCarthy's con artist "Diana" paint the town red with ill-gotten funds. But I simply cannot buy into the humor involving Jason Bateman's hapless victim Sandy Patterson.
NEWS
January 14, 2013
A former Berkeley County public school teacher was sentenced to five years in prison for multiple identity theft convictions involving one of her children. Rebecca Jean Ferguson, 41, also was ordered to serve 40 years of probation in lieu of a second five-year prison sentence, which was suspended, according to Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.   Ferguson was ordered by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes to pay $10,000 in “restorative” restitution to her daughter and more than $10,000 in restitution to credit-card companies, Games-Neely said.
LIFESTYLE
November 21, 2012
TRIAD of Washington County, a senior citizen advocacy organization, will have a free seminar from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Western Maryland Hospital Center Auditorium, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown. Deputy 1st Class Carly Hose, public information officer and crime prevention specialist with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, will discuss "How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft and Scams. "
NEWS
September 3, 2012
Pa. police advise people to guard against personal information scam CHAMBERSBURG. Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police are warning people about a scam in which people are being asked to give their Social Security number, credit card numbers and bank information in order to receive federal assistance to help pay utility bills. In the scam, victims are told they could get the assistance through a program from President Obama, state police said. Victims are being contacted in a variety of ways, including telephone calls, mail, fliers, email, text messages, social media and in person, police said.
NEWS
April 5, 2012
Police warn residents about sport motorcycle thefts FREDERICK, Md. - Frederick police Wednesday warned residents about a string of thefts of sport motorcycles that could be linked to others across the state. The stolen motorcycles in Frederick were all 600cc Kawasaki Ninjas, according to a news release from the Frederick Police Department. The thefts from across the state involved many models of sport motorcycles, the release said. Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said Thursday that he did not know of any theft of sport motorcycles in Hagerstown recently.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com | April 2, 2012
Rebecca Jean Ferguson, a former Berkeley County public school teacher, is facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to eight counts of identity theft in Berkeley County Circuit Court. Ferguson, 40, of 10245 Williamsport Pike in Falling Waters, W.Va., set up eight credit card accounts using her then-14-year-old daughter's name, according to testimony at a 2 1/2-hour pretrial hearing Monday before 23rd Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes. The plea bargain calls for Wilkes to sentence Ferguson to serve a maximum of 10 years in prison.
NEWS
January 17, 2012
The following incidents were reported Monday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office: • At 2:41 a.m., a phone, medication and cash were stolen in the first block of Hopewell Road in Williamsport. • At 8:38 a.m., a burglary in the 1300 block of Dual Highway. • At 12:52 p.m., identity theft in the 11200 block of Youngstoun Drive. • At 12:59 p.m., copper was stolen from a residence in the 7100 block of Sharpsburg Pike. • At 1:32 p.m., a trailer was stolen in the 16500 block of Virginia Avenue.
NEWS
October 20, 2011
Three suspects assault, try to rob walker in city Three young men assaulted and attempted to rob another male last week at Potomac Avenue and Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown, city police said. The victim was walking in the area about 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 14 when three black males demanded money from him, said Detective Sgt. Jim Hurd of the Hagerstown Police Department. The victim refused, and a struggle ensued. The assailants did not get any money from the victim and fled the scene, Hurd said.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | October 19, 2011
Financial know-how doesn't come naturally to everyone. So, on Wednesday, Kaplan University in Hagerstown invited some specialists to campus to share their wisdom. Lisa Copenhaver, the school's dean of student affairs, said students can benefit by learning about identity theft, budgeting, building a good credit score and balancing a checkbook. Fourteen institutions in the financial realm sent representatives to the campus. Students were invited to stop at their tables, talk and listen.
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