Recently Kimberly Fossen of Portland, Oregon was awarded $105,000 in her lawsuit against the county for her arrest and temporary jailing when the police were actually looking for Minh Thuy Nguyen who had stolen Kimberly Fossen’s identity a year earlier. At the time of her arrest, Fossen knew that the arrest warrant was meant for Nguyen instead of her and tried to tell police to compare fingerprints to confirm that this was a case of criminal identity theft where someone steals your identity and then commits crimes in your name. However, the police denied her request, took her to jail and arraigned her the next day in court while shackled and dressed in a prison uniform. Shortly thereafter the police discovered their mistake and Fossen was freed. In other cases, people have been jailed for months before they are able to convince authorities that they are dealing with criminal identity theft.
If you learn that you are a victim of criminal identity theft and that someone has stolen your name and committed crimes using your name, you should contact the police an District Attorney’s office immediately. File a report indicating that you are a victim of identity theft. Get a letter from the District Attorney explaining the situation so that if you are ever stopped by a police officer or arrested, you can prove that the criminal is not you. For more details on what you can do, get a copy of “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” which can be ordered from Amazon by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this page.