identity theft

An unprecedented rash of credit card fraud in one corner of the Northwest is forcing banks to put limits on card purchases – just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year.

Detectives stopped convicted arsonist Martin Pang just days before he was staged to steal nearly $20 million from firefighters, police officers and witnesses involved in a decades-old arson case. Pang is currently serving a prison sentence for the notorious 1995 warehouse blaze that killed four Seattle firefighters. Now, he could be facing more prison time for identity theft.

marc falardeau / Flickr

The Federal Trade Commission reports that in 2011, there were 4,853 complaints of identity theft filed in Washington state. Some of the victims included elderly citizens, medical patients, and even foster children. And the FTC complaints don’t include online data theft.