Consumer Alert: Notary public sells personal information

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - She was a notary public who was supposed to help consumers on refinancing transactions. Instead, Melissa Hodge was selling their social security numbers and personal information to identity thieves.

"They would give $20 for individuals that had a credit score between 500 and 600. Then it would go up from there. If they had a better credit score, she would require additional money for that," says U.S. Postal Inspector Kenneth Miller.

Those conmen would then use the information to open credit card accounts.

"They used the credit cards to purchase cell phones, laptops, iPads, televisions and stay at lavish hotels," says Miller.

Hodge, who became a notary public in 2010, originally lied to investors.

"She denied having any involvement and she suggested that this information was stolen from her office," says Miller.

Eventually, she admitted to passing off information from 16 victims who lost more than $160,000.

Postal inspectors have this advice: "Always check your credit report, we recommend you check it at least once a year," says Miller.

Hodge could face more than 20 years in prison for her role in this case.

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