Los Angeles city attorney launches aggressive plan against identity theft

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The Los Angeles city attorney's office announced an aggressive new plan Tuesday to deal with identity theft cases. (KABC)

The Los Angeles city attorney's office announced a new plan Tuesday to deal with identity theft cases.

Year to year, Los Angeles has seen a rise in identity theft crimes. According to the office of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, there were 254 cases of identity victimization in 2014. In 2015, there have already been 375 cases of identity theft.

Ill-begotten Social Security and personal identification numbers have become an increasingly common form of illegal tender.

"Identities are now currency in drug transactions," Feuer said at a Tuesday news conference.

Feuer said his office is deepening and broadening its relationship with police and encouraging the public with the same reminders that we've heard for years. The reminders include shredding sensitive documents, locking up mail boxes and creating stronger passwords for online accounts.

"Most people aren't engaging in these preventive practices," Feuer said. "We know from our work with the police department that the sources of identity theft continue to be theft from mail boxes, the retrieval of what otherwise has been thrown away in the trash can, and yet people have failed to shred their documents."

Feuer's office encourages avoiding using debit cards online or when fueling up.

"It is essential that we underscore that what might be seen as common sense practices actually be employed," Feuer said.

Another tip stressed at the news conference was to not keep sensitive documents, including auto registration, in your glove compartment, in the event that your car is stolen.
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