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Police Warn of ID Theft Increase

Identity theft is a growing crime, even in Weston.

"I wouldn't say it happens a lot, but it does happen," Weston Police Detective Carl Filsinger said about identity theft. A Cedar Hills resident recently reported that the mail had been stolen, and Filsinger said, "It is not the first time mail was taken from this resident."

He said mail theft often takes place where mailboxes are in clusters or in secluded areas. Most people aren't even aware that a theft occurred because they might not be aware of the mail's existence, Filsinger said. It is also difficult to investigate mail theft unless the perpetrator uses a stolen credit card or does something that alerts authorities.

"In one past case a contractor took credit cards and went straight to Home Depot in Fairfield. Fortunately, I had store cameras to make an identification and arrest. Although I haven't seen this too much in recent years, it still does happen. Thieves now are able to steal personal information through phone calls and email contacts."

Filsinger advises people to check their mail as soon as possible and to assist neighbors who do not have easy access to their mailboxes or who are disabled.

"In most cases [identity theft] is organized crime and stretches out across state and country lines," Filsinger said. "You may think you have phone numbers, addresses, names, and other suspect information but in reality you don't. Skillful con artists and organized identity theft rings cover up all information that leads back to them. On occasion they make mistakes but not too often. The focus in this type crime must be on prevention through awareness. Pass this on to anyone you know or to anyone you feel may be most vulnerable."

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