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Identity-theft scam feared by firefighters
Question of the Day
Two women arrested in Atlanta on identity-theft charges related to their pitches for insurance visited every fire station in Washington, D.C., earlier this year peddling similar plans, fire union officials said this week.
The D.C. Firefighters Union is asking members to contact the Metropolitan Police Department if they provided personal information to the women or signed up for the supplemental insurance plans the women were selling. As of Thursday, union leader Dabney Hudson said 30 to 40 firefighters have contacted him with concerns that they divulged personal information to the women as the women made the rounds to fire stations in March or April.
“We’re pretty sure they hit every single fire station on every single shift,” Mr. Hudson said.
The Atlanta Police Department said 30-year-old Cintia Ximena Pedone-Allou and 23-year-old Dawnetta Patrice Underwood were arrested on identity-theft and racketeering charges after the women visited police precincts there pretending to work for an insurance company and attempting to collect personal information from officers. Investigators said it was not entirely clear what the women planned to do with the information they received.
In the District, police are investigating the women’s actions.
“Our Criminal Investigations Division is looking into this to see if any laws were broken here,” Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said.
Mr. Hudson said it’s not uncommon for insurance representatives approved through the fire department’s human resources division to travel to fire stations to provide information about supplemental insurance plans. He added that when the women visited D.C. fire stations, they often called ahead and knew the name of an official on duty at the time. They seemed generally to be familiar with the process of selling insurance plans and registering people for them. Firefighters were asked to provide their names, addresses and social security numbers, he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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