Wiregrass Woman Fights Identity Theft

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

Most experience nightmares in their sleep but for Brenda Watford she's been living a three year nightmare, awake.

"I never thought one day in my life this would happen," said Watford.

Watford realized her identity had been stolen, one day when she tried to get a cell phone.

"They said that none of my information matched. My social security number, my name, my date of birth, nothing matched," explained Watford.

Watford says she checked her credit report and realized other services where purchased in her name as well.

"Direct t-v, dish network."

The crime left her with lots of questions.

"Honestly it's made me sick, I been down, depressed and everything else, why would someone want to do this to me," said Watford.

"By the time someone realizes that they have been victimized they not only don't know at what point they lost their identity they also don't know how they lost their identity," said Dothan Police Department Sgt. Rachel David

But there are things you can do to protect yourself.
Make sure you're on secure sites when using your bank information online and keep a close eye on papers that contain your personal information.

"One of the things that we see frequently is victimization of people through stolen mail," added Sgt. David.

This whole experience has left Watford with one piece of advice.

"I urge everyone to do a credit report at least once a year," said Watford.

Police say one of the first things you should do if you have become a victim is file a police report.

Watford says she has filed a report with authorities and they're working on finding the person responsible.

Police also warn residents to be alert of telephone fraud.
If anyone calls you and asks for personal information, hang-up.

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