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Rip-Off Alert: Identity theft is becoming the fastest growing crime in the nation

Amber Morgan, her boyfriend Tony Michael, and her mother Barbara Duncan were convicted of stealing the identities of more than 300 people. (KSNV file)

Did you know more than 1 in 20 Americans are victims of identity theft each year and that it is the fastest-growing crime in the nation?

One rip-off was a family affair.

Disguised in a wig and hat, authorities say one woman was trying to use a fraudulent credit card.

Police say three suspects -- Amber Morgan, her boyfriend Tony Michael, and her mother Barbara Duncan -- stole the identities of more than 300 people.

U.S. veteran George Corbin was one of those victims.

"We started seeing charges ... that weren't, they weren't really astronomical changes ... the first ones were just gas and stuff like this," said Corbin.

So, they decided to make a few calls and immediately learned the problem was much bigger.

"We started checking with the credit card companies and found out that folks had been trying to buy electronics and stuff with them, but had been denied," said Corbin.

The Corbins didn't know how their information was stolen until Indianapolis Police got a lucky break.

"The local police department finding a stolen vehicle abandoned in a snow bank, inside the vehicle was stolen mail," said U.S. Postal Inspector Laura Carter.

A hotel receipt led police to the suspects, as well as other evidence including the wig seen on the surveillance tape.

"They did steal mail out of residential mailboxes," said Carter. "They would also go to storage units trying to find tax returns that people had maybe stored in their storage units."

The suspects would then apply for credit cards in the victims' names or even file false tax returns.

"We've got our credit reports now locked down ... which makes a little inconvenient at times, but there is no way they are going to be able to process any loans or take out any additional credit cards," said Corbin.

"Always take your mail out of your mailboxes as soon as it is delivered, as soon as possible. Don't leave it overnight. If you're going on vacation, make sure it is held at the post office," said Carter.

As for the trio of crooks, they were arrested on several charges including possession of stolen mail, aggravated identity theft, and received sentences between one and three years.

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