Identity theft is one of the most common crimes plaguing the country today. It’s placed under the California Penal Code section, 530.5 PC.

Luckily for Californians, a 9 month investigation lead to the arrest this year of a female identity theft suspect in Los Angeles after allegedly defrauding hundreds of victims across Southern California, and even beyond.

According to reports, she was able to fraudulently acquire victims’ credit card numbers, and identities, in order to purchase gift cards which she somehow used to pay for tuition at West Los Angeles Community College. Not only did Jordan have her higher education on her shopping list, but her nefarious plot also afforded her new hair extensions, clothing, and airline tickets to Alaska.

She also allegedly used her past employment there as a means to collect personal data from thousands of individuals. As a matter of fact, at the time of her arrest, law enforcement agents released that she was in possession of over 200 stolen credit card numbers and the identity profiles of over 400 individuals.

While the extent of the damage is not entirely known, the investigation has turned up victims in Los Angeles, Torrance, Santa Monica, Topanga, Malibu, Mammoth Lakes, Tennessee and Mississippi.

While identity theft and fraud seem to be rampant these days, there are ways to protect yourself:

  • By monitoring your bank and credit card statements often.
  • Monitor your credit report as much as possible.
  • Try only using the credit card feature (not the pin) of your credit/debit cards, and
  • Pay close attention to those around you in the check out line.
  • Purchase a shredder and use it diligently for your paper mail, statements and other paperwork with sensitive, personal information.
  • Keep all your sensitive documents, pin numbers, and snail mail out of others’ view.
  • Always keep your electronic data on phones, tablets and computers password protected.
  • And remember to immediately report any suspicious activity having to do with your personal information. It could save you much more than just a headache.