COPLEY TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - An entire neighborhood is on alert. They're being targeted by identity thieves. Eight households have already been victimized.
Copley resident, Joel, has never even heard of Lawrenceville, New York, much less been there. And yet, he got a bill from Best Buy for nearly $4500 in charges someone racked up there in his name.
"Scariest thing is that most likely they have my social security number," he said.
He is among the eight known victims of identity theft in Copley Township. All of them live in the same Ryan Homes development.
"It's potentially ruining people's lives who are innocent and hard working," one victim said.
The thieves are getting credit cards in the victims' names at places like Macy's and Sears. They charged items out of state, over the holidays when new accounts and big ticket items wouldn't necessarily raise a red flag. Joel is still working to reverse the damage.
"It's peace of mind and time. Because it's time consuming to go through looking at all your accounts on a monthly basis to make sure there aren't any crazy charges," he said.
After establishing that all of these victims are pretty good about shredding sensitive documents, the Copley Police Department determined that the victims' mail is not the source of the fraud.
"They all have the same developer, that is the link that we have discovered so far. We're still investigating, nothing concrete. but that's what we're honing in on at this point," said Copley Police Lieutenant Luke Marchmon.
Detectives are now working with the U.S. Secret Service to track down the culprits. We're told Ryan Homes is cooperating.