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Friday, July 24, 2009

Another conviction of a Mississippi identity thief

For the second time in as many days, I am posting about a newly convicted identity thief from Mississippi.

Kudos to wlbt.com, Jackson's channel 3 NBC affiliate, for reporting on a conviction of an identity thief for the second time this week. I'll tell you the story wblt.com (and everyone else) is missing beneath the fold. But first, here's wlbt.com's article:

"A Jackson man admits to identity theft. Jermaine McClure of Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in U.S. District Court Thursday.

McClure was arrested by Clinton police in September 2008. He was found with various forms of identification belonging to others as well as counterfeit checks.

Authorities then linked him to an identity theft ring led by Milton B. Johnson of Jackson.
The Johnson ring is one of the largest identity theft rings operating in Central Mississippi.
McClure is set to be sentenced October first. He must also pay full restitution to all victims."

If any of the victims of identity thief Jermaine McClure read this and need help, advice or possible representation from an experienced Fair Credit Reporting Act attorney, please e-mail me at ckittell@merkel-cocke.com.

Now, I promised the real story that's being missed. Here it is. While identity thieves like McClure start the nightmare of identity theft, he had help in the form of an "I don't care" attitude from credit card companies, etc. Credit card companies, cell phone companies, utility companies, and even banks (although local banks are better about caring about and, as a result, preventing identity theft than large national banks such as the inept Bank of America) allow identity theft to happen.

I recently sued a major cell phone company that took a total of 12.2 seconds from the completion of the application to the granting of the application. Even though they pulled my client's credit report (to get his excellent score), they failed to even look at what was on the report. Had this cell phone company taken the short, easy step of reading, oh, I don't know, the full name, address or date of birth on the report, they would have realized that the person who completed the application did not know their "own" middle name, address or date of birth. They might have also noticed that the identity thief was applying for a cell phone in Illinois even though the consumer he was impersonating lived in North Carolina and was currently serving in Afghanistan (and had a active duty alert on his credit reports).

This type of ignorance allows identity thieves such as Jermaine McClure to steal innocent people's identities. Until companies such as that cell phone company wake up, identity theft will still run rampant.

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