ID Theft Hits Kennewick This Week, Fraudulent Tax Returns Investigated
Tax Day is Tuesday April 15th, today, and Kennewick police have been hit with four more new ID theft cases.
Mike Blatman of the Kennewick Police Department reported Tuesday three Kennewick residents were attempting to file their tax returns this week, only to find somebody else had filed using their Social Security Numbers to send fraudulent returns to the IRS.
Kennewick police also received a call from authorities in Texas about an ID theft that has shown up in Kennewick. A Texas woman notified KPD her license, birth certificate and Social Security card were stolen a couple of years ago, and just recently her information has been used in Kennewick for a number of large purchases. Police are hoping to trace the purchases to the specific stores, then possibly pinpoint the person on security cameras. Cross-checking the stolen woman's name with time stamps on the cameras at the time of the purchase, hopefully they can get a picture of the suspect. It's a painstaking task, but often times one of the few ways authorities can actually pinpoint an ID thief.
Blatman reminds citizens to be VERY careful with their personal information especially around tax time. He also said an excellent way to safeguard yourself is to destroy as many old non-essential documents as possible. Tri-Cites Crime Stoppers will be holding their annual CI Shred day this Saturday April 19th from 10am til 2pm at the Target Parking lot on Columbia Center Blvd. You can bring up to two large shopping bags or bankers boxes of materials to be destroyed for free.
Donations to help Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers reward program and it's other related programs will also be accepted. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for anonymous tips about suspected criminals, and over the years has resulted in several thousand apprehensions of wanted suspects.