Identity Theft

LUFKIN,TX(KTRE)- It can happen to anyone anywhere, in a split second someone can steal your identity before you know it. Just today, Rodman Sylestine found out the hard way.

Rodman says, "I noticed when I checked my account balance through the ATM that there was a substantial amount of money missing from my account."

Thieves somehow got hold of his debit card number and made several online purchases. "So the first thing I did was go to the bank and got a transaction statement for the month of October.

Luckily, Sylestine checked his statement, and was able to catch the error in time to have the charges reversed. That's something that everyone should do on a regular basis.

Angelina County District Attorney, Clyde Herrington says, " Each month when they get their credit card statement or their bank statement look at each transaction very carefully to make sure it is a transaction that they made."

The holiday shopping season is near and the economy tight, so this is the perfect time for thieves to strike. Lt. David Young, with Lufkin Police says, "I strongly encourage people to protect that identifying information. I can't count the numbers of cases I see everyday, wallets are stolen, people leave them on counter in stores, in shopping carts and when they go back it's gone."

Having your identity stolen is an uneasy feeling. "It makes me feel horrible, anyone could just be running around charging stuff," says Rodman.

So use your common sense and take nothing for granted. "I have to start looking more at my accounts also checking online to make sure everything is running as it should."