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Combating identity theft and fraud is shell game for local officials – The Daily Reporter

IRS Scams

Combating identity theft and fraud is shell game for local officials – The Daily Reporter

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HANCOCK COUNTY — The post on social media was a warning to all. The family said they were shocked. Their college-aged daughter’s social security number had been stolen and someone tried to file a federal tax return in her name. The family didn’t know who to call or what to do and were asking for help.

Stealing a person’s private information is just one of the many ways criminals are attacking people — robbing them of their identity to commit fraud.

Hancock County Sheriff Department’s day shift commander, Donnie Munden, says now more than ever people need to protect their identity and be aware of potential scams, particularly during tax season.

Munden, who has served the county for 35 years, conducts numerous Neighborhood Watch program meetings. One of the questions he is often asked is, “How can county residents protect themselves against identity theft and fraud?”

When he first started this job some 35 years ago, Munden said they’d maybe get three or four identity cases a year, because it very seldom happened.

“But, we sometimes get three or four per shift now,” Munden said.

Munden noted law enforcement receives dozens of calls from county residents being intimidated by callers, text messages, emails and mail, all trying to scam money or steal their identity. Real companies, Munden said, do…

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