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Familiar face of ID theft: family fraud

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

SCAM ALERT: An 83-year-old Hoboken woman knew the foreclosure notices that kept coming in the mail weren’t kosher. So she made a call.

Soon after, Hudson County authorities charged her granddaughter’s husband with using the woman’s identity to filch $400,000 from her to build an addition onto his own house.

A 68-year-old North Jersey car salesman pulled a similar stunt, pocketing $150,000 of his father-in-law’s money by impersonating him, authorities said.

Fortunately, in both cases, the victims were sharp enough to seek help.

Sure, some people aren’t as savvy as others when it comes to scams of any kind. Or they simply aren’t willing to believe that they’ve been victimized by a devil they know, rather than some computer hacker or spammer.

Fact is: Relatives, friends and neighbors make up half of all known identity thieves, according to the Better Business Bureau .

The Hoboken woman “did the right thing” by immediately calling a lawyer after receiving the foreclosure notices, said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio. The attorney went to court and a judge alerted the prosecutor’s office.

It just goes to show, DeFazio said, that “everyone must be vigilant.”

Which, of course, raises the question: Are you?

Javelin Strategy and Research has designed this test: Are you savvy enough about identity theft?



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