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Identity Theft Affects more than Credit Report

By Faye Mergel
Published: Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Fort Wayne, IN- Credit specialists often advises consumers to check their credit reports regularly to avoid identity theft. However, one case of identity theft may affect more than the person’s credit report. Last August 25, a man who identified himself as Damein Carlisle was shot at an intersection. This Saturday, the real Damein Carlisle showed up and informed authorities that he is not a victim nor involved in any shooting incident.

Identity Theft Affects more than Credit ReportThe unidentified man, whose identity is withheld to avoid jeopardizing the investigation, was treated last Tuesday at Saint Joseph’s Hospital after sustaining two gunshot wounds. The suspect was riding a friend’s car 2 a.m. last Sunday when a group of walking men suddenly open fired at their car.

Carlisle told police that his mother was flipping through a newspaper when she read that her son has been a shooting victim. She initially panicked, but bewilderment replaced her panic when she realized that her son is safe inside his home on the day of the shooting.

Once Carlisle found out that his identity might have been stolen, he immediately called St. Joseph’s Hospital to verify the incident. He then learned that the suspect gave the hospital Carlisle’s full information when he was brought there for treatment. Carlisle later found out that the suspect was his classmate through elementary and middle school.

Detective Robert Caroll of Fort Wayne Police is delving deeper into the suspect’s identity and whereabouts since he is linked to other crimes. “That’s why he gave the false name,” comments Caroll regarding the man’s connection to separate crimes. “He just happened to know Mr. Carlisle, and unfortunately Mr. Carlisle happened to get caught up in the mix.”

Carlisle worries that the former classmate may use his identity again. On the brighter side, there are no suspicious items on Carlisle’s credit report. As cases of identity theft are rising in the country, authorities once again remind consumers to be more careful with their personal and financial information.

One’s identity can be stolen simply by sharing his Social Security number. There are also scammers who appear to be sending e-mails from legitimate websites. Consumers who habitually throw ATM receipts, bank statements, utility bills, and credit card offers are more prone to identity theft. James McWhinney, author of financial and credit books, advises consumers to use a shredder when disposing documents which contain important information.

Not all identity theft are discovered through newspaper headlines so credit specialists say that consumers better check their credit report regularly. Before they know it, they might be buying a house they have not even seen.

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