South Florida Woman Busted in National Identity Theft Ring

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It appears driver's licenses and credit cards stolen across the country were being sent to South Florida where they were used to make fake identities. Fort Lauderdale detectives say this is an extremely organized ring of crooks that send cards from as far away as the Chicago area.

Stephanie Knowles was caught by Fort Lauderdale Police for allegedly being involved in a national identity theft ring. Knowles was not an obvious crook and worked as a counselor in an after school program in Hollywood, FL and as a security guard, according to Police.
For more info, see below CBS4News video.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft refers to the stealing of one's identity in an attempt to achieve financial or other gain through identity fraud.  The thief acquires access to another individual's personal, identifying information, such as a driver's license or Social Security number, and uses that information to steal, or fraudulently use, that individual's identity for his or her personal gain.

A thief may use stolen identity in any number of ways that will damage the victim's personal credit history and good name, such as open credit card or bank accounts, or apply for personal loans using the victim's information.  Identity theft can have detrimental effects on an individual's life.

While some victims of identity theft may be able to quickly identify and repair any damage done by the impostor, others may spend years trying to resolve the issue, spending large amounts of money to reverse the effects of identity theft.  A victim of identity theft may lose out on a new job, personal loans, or even be arrested for a crime they did not commit as a result of identity fraud.

For proactive tips to help you protect you and your family from identity theft, See: earlier blog 8 Reasons you should take identity theft seriously.  

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