Jeff Barker reports:
An airman who says she returned home from deployment to find her identity stolen was unsuccessful in getting two agencies to file charges.
The woman said she went to her old home in Crestview after getting back from Iraq to pick up her mail, and found a bill from the IRS for $1,307, according to a Niceville Police Department call history record from Oct. 7. The woman found that another woman filed 2008 taxes using her name and social security number, and also used her identity to work at the Gilmore Plant and Bulb Company in Liberty County, North Carolina.
She filed the appropriate paperwork with the IRS in September, the report said. When she contacted lawmen in Liberty County to file identity theft charges, she was told she couldn’t do so because she wasn’t a resident of Liberty County. They told the Niceville woman she needed to go to her local law enforcement.
After she called the Niceville Police Department, police told her they couldn’t file charges because the woman who allegedly stole her identity used the information in North Carolina.
The airman is undoubtedly not the only person to be given this type of answer and organizations suh as ITRC, ITAC, or the new FTC guide to advocating for ID theft victims may be of help. But ping ponging an ID theft victim is simply not acceptable in this day and age. The two departments should be talking to each other and Liberty should be investigating whether they have an ID theft in their midst who should be prosecuted. That the victim is someone who put herself in harm’s way to defend her country and now gets shuffled around when she needs help makes this all doubly disgraceful.