Consumer Alert: Identity theft victim targeted from within bank

Most consumers know how important it is to check their bank and credit card statements regularly for errors. But sometimes, those "errors" are actually calculated crimes ... which originate from within the bank's walls.

"They were hitting my home equity line," said Paul Agne, who was a victim of fraud. "They got $10,000 out on time, $12,000 the other time."

Paul Agne said the thieves who stole his identity did so with the help of an accomplice inside his bank.

Officials admitted that criminals could get away with more if they were working from the inside.

Rodney Bohanon, a US Postal Inspector, said, "When you have the assistance of someone on the inside that has all the answers to the security questions, it becomes quite easy."

With Paul's personal information, the identity thieves went to work.

"They were taking the money out and opening a joint account in my name and the other person's name," said Paul Agne. "They had four or five of my credit cards which they were charging on. They also had two different driver's licenses in my name."

Paul was just one of many people.

"This case was approximately 35 victims with a dollar loss of $1.4 million," said Bohanon.

How can consumers avoid ending up like Paul Agne? Never put your bank or credit card information in the garbage or recycling bin without destroying it. And remain vigilant for inconsistencies on your statements and bills.

"Shred it or burn it so nobody can get the information," said Bohanon. "You should just have to look at your account statements. Check them monthly and when you notice something has happened, contact the financial institution as well as authorities."

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