DHS woman has identity stolen

Identity theft

Desert Hot Springs, Calif. - When she applied for government assistance a few days ago, a Desert Hot Springs woman learned someone has been using her social security number for the last two years to get work, earning about $10 thousand dollars.

"It shocked me. I didn't know what to think," she said.

Since the government thinks she made the money, she could not get the benefits.

"That is going to affect me when I try to apply for college, and just for any benefits that I need. And I have a five month old baby, so that's going to affect me in any way that I'm trying to get benefits," said the woman, who did not want her name used for this story because she doesn't want the identity thief to get any more information about her.

She filed a police report in Desert Hot Springs, but there is little the department can do to catch an identity thief working in Florida, except for forward the information on to the Tampa police.

"We ask that if the victim feels like their social security number has been compromised for them to go to the social security office and obviously let them know immediately," said Desert Hot Springs Police Department Sergeant Raul Sandoval. "That way it can be red flagged on their social security."

The victim says the social security office told her to call the business that hired the person using her number, which she did.

"They asked for my social security number and they told me someone is working under my social security number," she said. "And they hung up on me."

The victim says she called the Tampa police looking for help, but they referred her back to her local department, which can't exactly send an officer across the country to investigate.

"Identity theft is a white collar crime. It can affect any person at any time," Sergeant Sandoval said. "A lot of times people find out by surprise. Whether you're applying for credit or putting in an application for a job. It is a big problem."

The victim thinks her social security number was hacked on-line when she used it to apply for jobs. 

"There are hackers out there," she said. "My point is, trying to get this out there so that people know because I'm just turning into an adult. I'm 19. What if there's other people turning into adults, 18 and older, and they're getting their information stolen and someone is living their life."

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • Hillary Clinton's most provocative statements
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Hillary Clinton's most provocative statements

    While Donald Trump's propensity for colorful rhetoric has garnered much of the attention this election cycle, his opponent Hillary Clinton hasn't led a gaffe-free campaign. Click through for her most provocative statements.

    Read More »
  • Easy ways to better your credit score
    iStock / Deejpilot

    Easy ways to better your credit score

    Everyone could use better credit. Here are some easy ways to better your credit score.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 24
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    On this day: October 24

    The first transcontinental telegraph message is sent, Harry Houdini gives his last performance, the United Nations is born, Jackie Robinson dies, and the Concorde makes its last commercial flight, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • Chicago Cubs, fans celebrate NLCS victory
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Chicago Cubs, fans celebrate NLCS victory

    For the first time in 71 years, the Chicago Cubs are the National League champions.  Here's a look at their celebration as they go for their first World Series win since 1908.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 23
    IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

    On this day: October 23

    The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut are hit by a truck bomb, Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination is rejected, and the iPod is introduced, all on this day.

    Read More »