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ID thief steals 665000 from HELOC
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (1/14/08)--Using a combination of forgery and a phone tap, an identity thief stole $665,000 from the credit union account of a Madrona, Wash., couple. A representative of Woodstone CU, an $86.2 million asset, Federal Way-based institution, phoned the couple Friday to inform them that $450,000 had been transferred from their home equity line of credit (Seattle Post-Intelligencer Jan. 10). Shortly thereafter, another caller contacted the couple, explaining that the amount transferred was actually $215,000 more--$665,000. Woodstone and the Secret Service began an investigation after the theft had been discovered. One of the victims told Seattle police that the money had been transferred to a New York bank and then out of the country. Investigators informed the man that an identity thief had mimicked his signature, and when representatives phoned to verify authorization of the transfer, the thief intercepted the credit union’s phone call--through a phone tap. The case is currently being reviewed by the Secret Service, Seattle police said.


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