Identity theft increasing during tax season

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) –

There is no instruction manual when it comes to using social media. Most use it to stay in touch with friends and family, but thieves are using it to steal your identity – and police say we are making it easy for them to do so.

Police in York County are investigating a number of identity thefts and fraud cases. 

“It’s not surprising in today’s world it is a little bit scary,” said Scott McIlvane of York.

Everything from mail being stolen right out of your mailboxes to opening new credit cards and filing federal income taxes under the victims’ Social Security numbers.

“My credit card was used twice for $7,000 and $4,000 two different times,” said Barbara Whorl of York. “It took me a couple months to get it taken care of.”

Police say social media is an identity thief’s best friend. Birthdays can easily be found on Facebook and social media users make it easy for hackers to keep tabs on where you are, what you are doing and when you are not home.

“I have been meaning to take my birthday down but you know social media, people get caught up,” said Constance Scott of Manchester.  “When you post I am going this place or I am going that place, it does leave you wide open.”

Tax time is a big time for identity theft. Police say the identity theft cases they are investigating are not related which proves how prominent the problem has become.

“There are things you can do to protect yourself and we have to be aware of those things,” said McIlvane.

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