ID Thieves Target Homeless

By Artie Ojeda
|  Thursday, May 27, 2010  |  Updated 8:44 PM PDT
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ID Thieves Target Homeless

NBCSanDiego

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ID Thieves Target Homeless

Escondido police are looking into the possibility that 75 to 150 homeless people -- including McCoy -- may have been scammed after they inadvertently turned over personal information, including Social Security numbers.
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ID thieves are targeting the homeless, including a North County woman named Jody McCoy.

McCoy has been down on her luck and looking for work for the last two years. Now its possible things are about to get worse.

Escondido police are looking into the possibility that 75 to 150 homeless people -- including McCoy -- may have been scammed after they inadvertently turned over personal information, including Social Security numbers.

The victims were approached with an offer that suggested they could be eligible for $525 to $850 in federal stimulus money. They were asked to fill out what appeared to be an IRS form. It turns out the form is a fake document.

"Its a scam that we've seen in other parts of the country," said Jay Foley of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Foley said the scam artists are not after financial assets, but, rather, personal identification information that could then be sold.

Escondido police said they have no suspects. They said the man who approached the homeless people is also homeless and may have been scammed himself.

So far, it doesn't appear that any of the personal information has been used, so, technically, there are no victims and, therefore, no crime.

Still, McCoy is disheartened to know she was targeted.

"It's sad -- very sad -- that someone would go after a homeless person," McCoy said.

social service agencies are contacting or attempting to contact the potential victims to advise them to contact credit reporting agencies so that they can set up so-called fraud alerts.

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