Identity thieves may be lurking in places you'd never expect to find them.
Imagine you're being wheeled into an emergency room after an accident. A lot of thoughts are running through your head, but worrying about someone stealing your identity probably isn't one of them.
"When people came into the ER or off an ambulance, her job was to take their information and load it into a computer," said U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Romano.
He was referring to Asia Tompkins, a hospital registry clerk. After she registered patients into the hospital, she stole their personal information.
"She applied for more than 130 credit cards in other individuals' names," Romano said.
Postal inspectors got several leads on how Tompkins used the money from her Facebook page. Under her likes: Shopping, shopping, shopping and getting money.
"After she made purchases, the inspection services was able to track down those purchases - we had her on video surveillance after making the purchases," Romano said. "Then a search warrant was issued to her home."
They found high-end clothing, jackets, boots, cash and a log of personal information.
"The loss was $50,000 - the impact was extremely significant with 130 victims compromised," Romano said.
Postal inspectors worked with victims to monitor their credit. Most said they were stunned by where it happened.
"It's a situation where people came into the hospital expecting services and not expecting to have their identity breached," Romano said.
Tompkins accepted a plea deal for identity theft and bank fraud charges. She is serving a three-year sentence in a federal prison.
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