FOREST LAKE, Minn. -- A dozen residents in the same Forest Lake neighborhood have become victims of identity theft.
"It's approaching $100,000. A couple of the victims have a couple thousand here, a couple thousand there, but there are some victims that are in the 15 to 20 thousand dollar range," says Captain Greg Weiss with the Forest Lake Police Department.
It all started a few weeks ago when Andrea Brischke got a credit card from JC Penney in the mail. She called the company right away.
'They said, "Yeah, you spent $847 down in Louisiana on August 19th," I'm like, "No, I didn't,"' says Brischke.
Brischke pulled her credit report and found more bad news. "They had spent $5,000 at Best Buy," she says.
Brischke told her neighbor, who a week later, told her she too had become a victim. Someone had opened 10 credit cards in her name.
"Kari's got a Sam's Club Discover card with the lady's picture on the back," she says.
The close-knit neighborhood started talking and they realized many of them were victims of identity theft. Police, at this point, don't know what the connection is other than they all live in the same subdivision. They sent out a code red message alert to warn others and hopefully prevent further theft.
"Check your credit, not just call your bank and see if there is anything, but actually pull a full credit report," says Capt. Weiss.
The police department is holding a meeting Thursday, September 20 at the library to let residents know how the investigation is going and to give them tips about protecting their identity.
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