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SPEAK UP! Bloggers will tell all about thefts, but don’t tell cops

The Brooklyn Paper
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If someone’s stolen your identity, don’t just blog about it, tell the cops!

Park Slopers have been doing the latter, for sure. On Jan. 13, the Park Slope Parents Web site, an online community, began inundating each other with stories of identity theft.

The Gowanus Lounge and Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn promptly picked up the story, fueling the identity theft anxiety in the already anxiety-prone Slope.

Gowanus Lounge’s blogger claimed that he, along with Park Slope Parents and the message board, Brooklynian.com, had received more than six dozen complaints from residents recently victimized by credit card fraud. Some of those complaints included fraudulent charges from gas stations in Florida and Texas. They had little else in common.

But few people seem to be reporting such crimes to the cops, which top cop John Argenziano said was key to finding the culprits.

Indeed, last week, it appears just one person reported such a crime within the cozy confines of Park Slope’s 78th Precinct.

On Jan. 19, a 56-year-old Prospect Park West man told cops that three unauthorized transactions — for a total of $1,200 — had been made with his debit card at a Wal-Mart in Kissimmee, Florida.

Argenziano said there has been no spike in reported identity theft crimes, despite the blog frenzy. He said his officers can’t possibly detect any pattern if fraud victims don’t report the crime (blogging doesn’t count).

“We look into all the cases,” said Argenziano. “Victims should make a report. And then [Detective Tony Shy] will look into the crime. … We do get people, but it’s very difficult. There’s no line-up. It’s a paper thing.”

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Reader Feedback

longtimesloper from park slope says:
It has been reported to the police!

If you really read the blogs you would see that there was even a post about contacting a special officer at the 78th precinct!
Jan. 25, 2008, 10:32 am
Benjamin Dutta from Los Angeles, CA says:
Same thing happen to me after getting gas with my debit card at a ARCO. 3 days later I had over $1200 stolen from my account. If you are also a victim please email me bendutta@yahoo.com
Jan. 25, 2008, 7:37 pm
Disgusted from bensonhurst says:
Even if you report it nothing is done. My deceased father had his credit card used for over a month after he died. Even though I knew who was using it, where the goods went, etc. the police would not prosecute as they "couldn't prove it". The only thing missing was a videotape of her actually using the internet to order stuff. What a joke!
Jan. 30, 2008, 10:52 pm

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