Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Identity theft post-Hurricane Katrina

"[Louisiana] is getting reports of attempted identity theft by applicants illegally trying to get federal aid for Hurricane Katrina, officials said Tuesday. They are the latest wave of post-storm consumer complaints, which previously focused on alleged price gouging and problems with cell phone service. Isabel Wingerter, director of the public protection division of the state Attorney General's office, said the office has gotten about 50 telephone calls on identity theft. The volume of complaint calls has not changed much, but 'the issues have changed,' she said. Wingerter said the latest problem surfaced when legitimate hurricane victims tried to apply for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and were told that someone had already applied using their social security number."

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