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Rip-Off Alert: Be vigilant about shredding personal documents

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 2/13/2013 6:01 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Today's Rip-Off Alert features a story that illustrates just how important it is for you to check your bank and credit card statements on a regular basis. If you don't, it could cost you big time.

Paul Agne says thieves stole his identity with the help of an accomplice inside his bank.

"They were hitting my home equity line,” Agne said. “They got $10,000 out on time, $12,000 the other time."

"When you have the assistance of someone on the inside that has all the answers to the security questions, it becomes quite easy," said U.S. Postal Inspector Rodney Bohanon.

With Agne’s personal information, the identity thieves went to work.

"They were taking the money out and opening a joint account in my name and the other person's name,” Agne said. “They had four or five of my credit cards which they were charging on. They also had two different driver's licenses in my name."

"This case was approximately 35 victims with a dollar loss of $1.4 million," Bohanon said.

How can you avoid ending up in a similar situation? Never put your bank or credit card information in the garbage or recycling bin.

"Shred it or burn it so nobody can get the information,” Bohanon said. “You should just have to look at your account statements; check them monthly and when you notice something has happened, Contact the financial institution as well as authorities."

The suspects in this case were convicted of bank fraud and await sentencing. They could face a $1 million fine and up to 30 years in prison.
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