As a result of a joint investigation by Houston police and federal postal inspectors, four people, Joel Cruz, Darion Wells, Devante Ruffin and Jamonte Booker have been arrested and charged with operating an identity theft ring and using the stolen identities to buy twelve luxury automobiles worth $485,136 as well as breast implants for two of the identity thieves, Devante Ruffin and Jamonte Booker. According to police, the scam started when two of the accused while attempting to lease an apartment noticed a storage facility on the property that contained unsecured boxes of old paper leasing records for the complex. Police say the accused identity thieves stole the boxes and used the personal information contained in the records to start their crime spree. When they were apprehended, the accused identity thieves had information on as many as thousands more people from these stolen rental records that they had not yet used.
This is another example of the fact that regardless of how good you are at keeping your personal information safe and secure from identity thieves, you are only as safe as the places that have your information with the weakest security. Companies should review their stored records and shred documents with personal information that is no longer needed. We, as consumers should request that companies that have our personal information store it securely and destroy the records of our personal information when it is no longer needed.