Ocean City Today

County workers victims of identity theft

By Brian Gilliland | May 03, 2018
Harold Higgins, county administrator

(May 4, 2018) Over the past month, some county employees have received a shock at their mailboxes: notices that unpaid bills in their names for Comcast cable services had been sent to collections, potentially damaging their credit scores.

No county property, assets or information are, at this time, suspected to have been compromised.

“There is no indication of a breach in our security,” County Administrator Harold Higgins said. “We’re just trying to protect our employees.”

Besides their place of employment, there does not seem to be any other connections between the victims, Kim Moses, county public information officer, said.

Moses said the county had become aware of the situation in late March or early April, and a notice was delivered to employees on April 3.

The notice recommended each employee view their credit reports to see if fraudulent charges had been incurred under their names.

American citizens are entitled to a free annual credit score report from each of the top three reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

The Federal Trade Commission states the only website authorized by it to provide these credit scores is www.annualcreditreport.com.

When additional accounts surfaced in response to the notice, the Sheriff’s Office was brought in to investigate.

Lt. Ed Schreier, Sheriff’s Office public information officer, confirmed the investigation is ongoing, and recommended everyone request an annual copy of their credit reports.

Thousands upon thousands of cases of identity theft and fraud involving bogus Comcast accounts have occurred throughout the country for the past several years. Currently pending in federal court in California is a class action suit that alleges that Comcast failed to take the necessary steps to verify the identities of customers before opening an account.

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