More of this amazing investigation by the Columbus Dispatch. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in our country:
CATLETT, Va. — While Suzanne Sloane was giving birth to her second child, a contract worker in the hospital’s accounts-payable department was stealing her identity.
During the next six months, the thief took out dozens of credit cards, loans and cash advances using Sloane’s personal information, and went on a wild spree, spending $30,000.
Sloane had no idea, until one day she opened a piece of mail from a debt collector saying she owed money from a credit card that didn’t belong to her. The card was issued to Shovana Sloan — the woman who worked at the hospital.
That night, Suzanne Sloane typed her Social Security number into the website for Equifax, one of the three major credit-reporting agencies in the United States, and discovered that her report was littered with 20-plus pages of the other woman’s accounts.
“I had just put the kids to bed, my husband wasn’t home, and I was panicking when I saw that name,” said Suzanne, now 45 and a charter-school principal. “You’re in disbelief in the beginning. I thought it must be a typo or some kind of mistake.”
Suzanne spent months working with local and federal authorities, calling creditors and dealing with Equifax. The thief, who had a previous conviction for identity theft, confessed to stealing Suzanne’s information at the hospital and later was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Read more at The Dispatch: