You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

Monday, April 13, 2015

Identity Theft Task Force Created In Columbus

In 2013, Columbus, Georgia was the #2 location in the country for stolen identity affidavits filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

As a result, an identity theft task force is being created and will be a combined effort among the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Attorney’s Office, the United States Secret Service, the Postal Inspector, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, and the Columbus Police Department. 

There has been an increase in theft of Personal Identifying Information (PII) from several large employers in and around the Columbus area, as well as stolen U.S. Treasury checks being cashed by various local banks and/or check cashers.

Identity theft includes such schemes as stealing Personal Identifying Information and using the information to file fraudulent tax returns, check cashing runners who transfer the fraudulent tax refund checks from the fraudulent tax return filer to the check cashers (check cashing runners are paid a percentage of the fraudulent tax refund check cashed), and check cashers knowingly cashing fraudulent tax refund checks and charging higher percentages than allowed by states or receiving a kickback for cashing the checks.         

Inquiries regarding the task force should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney's Office at (478) 621-2603.

Click here to view news story on WJTV Columbus.


Updated April 22, 2015