ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) – Three neighbors on one block in Elgin have all been the victims of identity theft in the past two months.
As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, the victims, and police, wonder if someone is targeting their street.
“Obviously, you get frantic,” said Adam Kruis about the minute he realized his wife had fallen victim to an identity thief. They didn’t know anything was wrong until an employee from a high end department store called them last week about a denied credit application.
Kruis says he realized there was a problem, checked his credit reports and found a thief had charged more than $5,000 at three stores in Connecticut, all within hours of opening an account. Kruis says the thief had almost all of his wife’s personal information, including her social security number and driver’s license.
Kruis later learned two of his neighbors on his quiet, subdivision street also had their identities stolen. He sent out texts to alert others and followed up with police. Officers say they are looking into a possible connection but admit there isn’t much they can do.
One thought is that thieves may have rifled through the mail. Mailboxes in the subdivision are bunched by four on a post and two of the victims have boxes in the same group. But Lieutenant Dan O’Shea says that’s not a given.
“It’s not common. We take obviously a lot of identity theft reports as do most agencies,” O’Shea said. “But they’re very spread out. This one? Very concentrated so our investigators will be working on it trying to determine if there is a pattern-“
O’Shea says it’s possible someone also rifled through garbage but that, again, is not easy to prove.
In all, he says the thieves charged tens of thousands of dollars to the stolen accounts, all outside of Illinois.