When consumers go to their local bank or credit union, they don't expect that their information could be used in identity theft, but unfortunately that's the case for one such institution in Arizona.
According to a report from the Phoenix-based newspaper the Arizona Republic, police in Mesa arrested a former credit union employee who used a customer's identity and her own address to apply for credit cards. An investigation into a reported credit card theft led officers to a woman that used to work at Arizona Federal Credit Union. Her victim contacted police after she received a call late last month from Bank of America thanking her for applying for a credit card online.
The paper said that the victim quickly checked her credit report and found that someone had used her name, Social Security number and date of birth to get cards from both Bank of America and Capital One, but that they were sent to a different address than her own. The victim then searched the county assessor's website and found the name of the residence's listed owner, which she recognized as the name of a credit union employee who had helped her to refinance her home the previous November. The victim told both police and the credit union about the issue immediately.
The Republic report said that the employee was fired from the credit union the day after the victim alerted them to the issue. She admitted to illegally running credit checks on four credit union members and using their personal identity information to apply for several credit cards.
A separate report on the incident from the East Valley Tribune in Mesa said that a representative of the credit union provided local police with a copy of her termination letter and a handwritten confession of the crimes from the thief. However, when she was arrested, she only admitted to signing up for the Capital One card using the victim's information, and vehemently denied doing so for the Bank of America card. She also told police she made a stupid and bad decision.
The East Valley Tribune also noted that the credit union did not immediately alert police to the crime, but did comply with all requests once the investigation was underway.