Identity Theft

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It can happen anywhere, any time, and to anyone.

CAPT Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department says, "We've had some reports where individuals have called members of our community at their homes and said, ‘I'm with your bank or I'm with this company. If you give me your credit card number we'll do this or we'll do that for you.’ "

It all boils down to identity theft, and police say crooks are notorious for claiming to be someone they are not, all part of an effort to steal your money and your identity.

Stephen Chammoun, a fraud investigator, says, "I remember one time a guy, actually it was his deceased wife, somebody got his deceased wife's information and purchased a car under her name."

They'll stop at nothing to take what's rightfully yours, and that has many folks taking steps to protect themselves.

Rainey Allen says, "I'm very concerned. I don't buy anything off the Internet. I keep most of my information to myself as possible and I think more people should do so because that's the way they get their information."

Even Valdosta State University students are on edge after a recent security breach has some questioning their protection.

Tamika Robinson, a VSU student, says, "Now that a person has our Social Security number, they have access to anything, whether it’s credit cards, loans, whatever they want to get they have access to."

In an effort to stop identity theft, police are encouraging people to purchase shredders and never release financial information over the phone.

Police advise everyone to check their credit report at least twice a year to make sure they are not a victim of identity theft.