Reporting Dana Kozlov
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ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — First, there were three. Now even home owners in an Elgin subdivision say at least six neighbors have had their identities stolen — most in the last two weeks.
So, what’s going on? Investigators aren’t sure, but one expert says it doesn’t sound like a coincidence.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
A call from an airport set off fraud alarms in Brian Hurley’s mind. The caller from JFK Airport said an individual had purchased an airline ticket on Hurley’s credit card.
Hurley’s identity had been stolen, sparking a month-long attempt to clear his name and credit.
He found out he isn’t alone. At least five of his neighbors had their identities stolen, too, with thieves charging tens of thousands of dollars at out of state stores.
“It’s very alarming,” said one of the victims, Michael, who didn’t want his last name used.
All of the victims live on the same street.
“It certainly sounds like there is a pattern,” says Steve Baker of the Federal Trade Commission.
But the big mystery is how the thieves are getting the highly personal information. Michael speculates someone could have hacked into residents’ wireless Internet connections.
Another thought: Thieves stole information out of mailboxes, which are mounted four to a post with easy access.
Elgin police are investigating but don’t have jurisdiction over all aspects of these cases.
The Waterford subdivision’s property management company says it investigated but hasn’t found anything that would have triggered a breach.