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Jamestown detective says monitor credit rating to prevent identity theft

“I check my credit once a year,” Gross said. “Somebody who has had issues with their identity being stolen should do it at least three times a year.”

Once the identity thief has personal information like your full name, date of birth, address and Social Security number, that person always has it, he said. The identity thief with your personal information could get locked up in prison for two to three years if convicted for identity theft or the information could be sold or traded on the internet.

“The person who actually has it, they could go and try it again five years later because your name, date of birth and Social Security number are never going to change,” he said. “It is very important not to give that information out.”

Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal identifying information and uses it to open new accounts, access existing accounts or commit crimes using your name, according to the North Dakota Office of Attorney General’s website.

Gross said the reason an individual steals someone’s identity is the identity thief needs credit. If someone has a bad credit rating, that person can’t get a cellphone or a loan for a…

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