The Main Stream

Dec 7, 2011 12:08 AM

Major identity theft investigation at UA

TUCSON - A multi-agency investigation into identify theft has more than a hundred UA students facing questions.

The investigation is just being done here in Tucson, but it could have national implications.

It revolves around fake id's, but officials said it's much more serious than just some id a kid made on his computer because the id's are real and from all over the country. The id's were on their way into the hands of some UA students when they were confiscated.

More than 8 different agencies worked on the investigation for about two months and they found more than just a few id's lying around.

Sgt. Steve Tritz is with the Dept of Public Safety. He said, "We've intercepted 200 fradulant id's."

It's a number that doesn't come as a big shock to students. Hanan Alhashmi said, "I think that's an underestimate. Those are only the numbers of people caught. You don't know how many people are actually using these fake id's and I'm sure a lot of kids are."

Her friend Faris Qadri said, "This campus has 38-thousand people so I would guess like a thousand. I wouldn't be surprised."

It's a scary thought for people all over the country who have maybe lost or had their id's stolen because to them underage drinking is the least of their worries.

Tritz said, "Those identities can impact that person acquiring jobs, credit, future employment, all of those types of things."

Something a lot of students never even think about. Which is why education is a big part of what officials are talking to the students about, but of course the main thing is to get information.

Tritz said, "It helps us further the investigation into brokers of Id's so we can move up the ladder so we're not just chopping off legs, we want to chop the head off.

The other thing students need to keep in mind or anyone looking to buy a fake id is that purchase is funding the operations for the bigger criminals. So the more id's they sell, the more crime they can commit.

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