Thieves use stolen identity for retail therapy

Case study

Katie Smith* was living an upright life—working for a large manufacturer, saving for retirement and being a good neighbor—when she received a voicemail from Kohl's department store about activity on her newly opened account.

The only problem was she didn't have a Kohl's credit card. Someone had used her Social Security number, date of birth and address to open an account there and at 14 other retail stores, ultimately running up $18,000 in fraudulent charges in her name. The news left her reeling.