ID Theft: Ohio State Patrol fighting rise in ID theft

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It appears identity theft cases are on the rise, now the Ohio State Patrol is doing something about it.

Ohio State Highway Patrol

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has noticed an alarming trend - identity theft cases are on the rise. The Patrol has observed a 55 percent increase so far this year in identity theft cases resulting from traffic stops and contact made at Ohio driver license exam stations.

This time last year, 114 cases for identity theft had been investigated in comparison to 248 cases this year. In addition, Bureau of Motor Vehicles Deputy Registrars and employees routinely collect approximately 4,000 set of fraudulent documents each year from their work in issuing driver licenses, state identification cards and vehicle registrations. Nationally, fraudulent identification crimes bring in nearly 10 billion dollars a year for organized crime, terrorist groups and individual criminals.

"From the first step of obtaining a temporary permit to the final issuance of a driver license, the Patrol and BMV work to ensure the documents we are issuing are secure and reliable," said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Thomas J. Stickrath.

BMV investigators also train law enforcement and other partners to identify fraudulent documents. More than 8,000 officers statewide have been trained in the past five years.

"The increase we are experiencing is alarming. We are working to ensure that our troopers can identify fraudulent documents during routine traffic stops to do our part in keeping Ohioans safe," said Colonel David W. Dicken, Patrol superintendent. "Anyone who has had someone else use their name, social security number or their likeness to commit a crime can understand how important it is that our troopers are trained to detect this type of criminal behavior."

Patrol investigators believe the increase is a result of people attempting to use or create fraudulent documents or identification cards, felons with warrants attempting to avoid capture or criminals attempting to use stolen credit cards, checks and setting up fake bank accounts.

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