Sharon Jones, a long time resident of Charlottesville and teacher at Walker Elementary School fell victim to identity theft in 1999. She is still working to straighten out her credit after a Fredicksburg woman, who shared the same first and last name, used her personal information to make more than twenty five thousand dollars worth of unauthorized purchases.
"To this day if I need to get something on credit, I have to prove that I am who I am," says Jones. "I feel very violated because my good name and good credit are now wiped out."
Experts say frequently checking your credit and safeguarding things like your social security number, credit cards, and bank statements are the best ways to prevent identity theft.
Victims should immediately report identity theft to their financial institutions as well as the national credit reporting agencies.