December 7, 2023

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than one million reports of identity theft in 2021 and nearly 10,00 of those reports came from the Memphis area.

Identity thieves steal personal information to buy things with your credit cards or open up new cards in your name.

”I got a call as I was going into bible study,” said Ralph Thompson, pastor of New Sherron Baptist Church in Byhalia.

He thought the call was from AT&T.

”Yes, because I gave them my password because in order to get into my account, they said they needed my four-digit password. And I gave them my four-digit password and that’s when everything took a turn,” Thompson said.

It was an expensive turn. The caller was a scammer who used the pastor’s password to hack his phone, get his credit card info, and go on a shopping spree.

“They bought a drone. They bought some perfume. They bought some tennis shoes. They bought $9,000 in purchases,” said Thompson.

Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said never give out any kind of personal information over the phone, especially if you didn’t make the call.

”No one in this day and time is going to ask for your social security number over the phone. And if they do, it should be a big red flag. And again, if you didn’t initiate the contact, you can’t trust who’s on the other end,” Irwin warned.

Other red flags include new accounts opened without your knowledge. One big tip-off for ID theft is if you…

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