By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has contacted three Borough Park residents and told them that they are potentially victims of identity thieves, according to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the neighborhood.
After learning that his constituents had been contacted by the FBI, Hikind issued a warning to all residents to be on the lookout for fraudulent bank accounts, changes to their credit scores, and other indications of identity theft.
“It’s not every day that someone gets a letter from the FBI,” Hikind said. “These people were frightened and rightly so. When they turned to us for help in protecting themselves, my staff immediately followed up with the Department of Justice and the credit bureaus to make certain these innocent victims were protected.”
The FBI recently contacted the three Borough Park residents by letter after agents found personal information on these residents in the hands of suspects in New England, Hikind said.
The FBI’s Boston field office advised the potential victims to follow through with all three major credit bureaus, immediately close any fraudulent accounts that may have been opened, and to file police reports.
The frightened residents reached out to Hikind’s office for help and advice. Hikind’s senior aides are working with the FBI and the credit bureaus to protect the community members identified as potential victims.
Victims can report complaints to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338). Hikind said constituents who have been victims of identity theft should also contact his office.
“You don’t need to use the internet or even have a credit card to be a potential victim of identity theft. Thieves grow more and more sophisticated and can obtain your personal information from a driver’s license, bank account number, and many other ways,” Hikind said.
“To best protect yourself, it’s important to regularly monitor your bank and credit accounts and to occasionally check your credit scores,” he said.