INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis woman is fighting to clear her name after having her identity stolen. The woman only realized she had fallen victim after getting notices in the mail for unpaid tickets in Illinois.
Amy Hanks filed a police report after finding a letter from a municipal collection service for the Village of Matteson, Illinois claiming she owed $325 for unpaid parking tickets.
“I’ve never even heard of Matteson, Illinois. I’ve never been there,” said Amy Hanks. “So I called them and said I’m disputing this because I don’t own these vehicles.”
Hanks says police in Matteson told her different cars were rented from Enterprise. The driver used her name, address and driver’s license number to rent the cars, and then parked illegally in handicapped spots.
“I feel violated as I’m sure most people do when they have their identity stolen,” said Hanks.
“It’s a huge inconvenience for people, once this happens to you it is a big hassle,” said Tim Maniscalo with the Better Business Bureau.
While national statistics show criminals swiping a social security number to commit tax fraud and making fraudulent purchases on a stolen credit cards make up the bulk of identity theft cases, the theft of government documents and drivers licenses can still happen.
That’s why Maniscalo offers some simple advice to try and protect your identity.
“Be vigilant and be very, very cautious about giving out personal information,” said Maniscalo.
For her part, Amy has no idea how anyone in the south Chicago suburb of Matteson stole her driver’s license info or how long ago it happened, but the paperwork shows the unpaid tickets were written last October.
“I really wish people were just not so dishonest. I don’t understand why you would violate someone’s life like that and take their identity,” said Hanks.
If you do find yourself the victim of identity theft, you should always file a police report, contact all the appropriate agencies and possible freeze your credit.