Summit County Sheriff Department Addressing Domestic Violence And Identity Theft In The County
Like many other law enforcement agencies, the Summit County Sheriff’s Department deals with a variety of modern issues. Just two of them are—identity theft and domestic violence.
Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright talked about those in a recent KPCW interview.
The Sheriff’s incident report from last week said a Basin resident was victimized by an unknown suspect, who tapped into the resident’s home equity line of credit and sucked out some $220,000.
Lt. Wright said the incident is very concerning and raises a lot of questions.
“We have an identity theft issue part of that of the investigation is trying to figure out, determining, where this person got all that information," Wright continued. "As you all know it takes a lot of information to get any kind of a loan especially a home equity line of credit and we're talking a quarter of a million dollars. Right now, it’s unknown how that person was able to gain access to that. I don't even know at this point if it was someone that knew this person if it happened to be a prior partner or something like that.”
He said investigators have made the case a priority, since it involves a lot of money.
“That can create a lot of heartache for someone," Wright explained. "As you can imagine, this person is probably terrified of what the outcome is going to be with this. Trying to recoup that money if the bank will work with them on fraud aspect and usually the institutions are pretty good about working with victims of fraud. I would imagine our investigators have reached out to the federal government, the FBI, to dive into this investigation and so it be interesting to see how turns up with this.”
Lt. Wright also detailed a few tips to ward off identity theft.
“There are a lot of different apps out there," Wright said. "There's you know Equifax they provide different kind of credit monitoring options, you can subscribe to stuff like that. The big thing is make sure that you have strong passwords to get into your different banking institutions and anything that holds very personal information, a lot of your identity. You can register at Utah.gov, they've got a identity theft database that you can go and input your information. Especially if you become victim of that so that the state can kind of track that as well. The big thing is don't share your password. Change them make sure that you have very strong passwords to get into a lot of that information.”
And one basic warning, he said, is don’t leave your purses or wallets inside your vehicles, allowing thieves to break in and steal your personal data as well as your valuables.
On another topic, he said that domestic violence cases seem to be on the increase. He’s not sure about the reasons behind that.
“The domestic violence trends are terrifying," Wright continued. "We see that across I think the country domestic violence seems to be increasing. Whether or not we're seeing more and more of it each day, or if people are talking about it more and are gaining that strength to come forward and report it, it would be interesting to know. If we are truly seeing trends going, but the amount of reports that we see you know when we pull annual numbers it seems that they keep on going up each year.”
He said they work with local nonprofits, including Peace House, to promote understanding and encourage victims to speak out.
He said on the prevention side, the important word is ‘communication.’
“In my personal relationships communication is key," Wright explained. "Talking about those things that really bother you and then learning how to cope with the frustrations that you might experience in your relationship. Truly communicating that with your partner, you know really working through those differences that you may have. Of course, sometimes substance can get behind people’s emotions if they’ve been consuming alcohol or if they've engaged in any kind of other substance abuse or on any kind of prescription medication that can alter the way you think. Of course, we want people to avoid any kind of confrontation as far as physical violence goes. It's always healthy to communicate and talk things out but violence is never the answer.”