Wave of Identify Theft Hits Hempstead County

By Dale Gathright, Jr., 07/16/20 2:35 PM

HOPE – Hempstead County Deputies have taken and are investigating more than 15 reports of Financial Identify Theft over the last several days, according to Sheriff James Singleton.

The calls are related to Unemployment Benefits being filed for people who are still working and have no idea their information is being used by unknown suspects to file for benefits in the employee’s name until they are notified by their employer or receive a letter from the Unemployment office.

“I would like to advise everyone to be aware this is not only happening in our county but in other surrounding counties and counties through out the state,” the Sheriff said. “I want to make the citizens of Hempstead County aware of these crimes and to safeguard your personal information. If you become a victim of Financial Identify Theft, report it immediately to the Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency.”

Identity theft occurs when a person acquires someone else’s personal or financial information and uses it fraudulently for their financial gain. The types of sensitive information that are used by criminals to perform financial identity theft include address, birth date, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, social security number (in the US), driver’s license number, bank account or bank card number and online passwords.

What to do when your identity is stolen:
1. Put a fraud alert on your credit reports.
2. Contact any institution directly affected.
3. File a police report.
4. Protect your Social Security number.
5. Contact the Post Office.