He lost his credit. He lost his job, and ultimately he lost his home when his identity was stolen.

Although it happened 10 years ago, Edmond Moriniere of Copperas Cove is still trying to recover today.

“Someone stole money from my checking account and it has had a cascading effect,” Moriniere said. “Security is a big issue for me now, especially with changing technology.”

Moriniere worked at a bank when his checking account was hacked. Because of the security breech, he lost his job and could no longer work in the banking industry.

extremely cautious

He is now extremely cautious with all of his personal information and brought more than 60 pounds of personal documents he had collected over the last year to the city’s Shred-It Day on Saturday. The city set up a day at The National Bank where citizens could bring their documents for shredding at no charge.

Diana Castillo of Copperas Cove came with a pickup truck full of documents for disposal. She said the main reason she hauled the papers to the bank was two key words — identity theft.

“I had my credit card stolen a few months ago and have no idea how (the thieves) got it,” Castillo said. “My credit card company notified me that someone was using my card number in Mississippi. I’ve never even been to Mississippi.”

hundreds of cases

The Copperas Cove Police Department handles hundreds of credit card fraud cases annually and will see a spike as a result of holiday shopping.

Detective Chuck Ogelsby of the Criminal Investigation Division said there is no telling at what level a card or card number is hijacked due to technology.

“Don’t use stand alone ATMs like in a convenience store that are not associated with a bank. Thieves put skimmers in there and collect your card and pin numbers,” Ogelsby said.

He said thieves can go through your trash to find discarded billing statements.

A dishonest clerk or waiter can take a photo of your credit card and use your number to make purchases or open a second account. If you get a call offering a free trip or another great prize and you have to give your account number to claim it, it’s probably a scam.

“We will see a big spike in cases in January when people start getting their December credit card bills,” Ogelsby said. “Forgery, credit card abuse — our caseload will more than triple January through April from holiday shopping.”

Ogelsby said women should watch their purses and not leave them unattended in carts when shopping.

Unsolicited credit card applications should be shredded along with any document that contains a name, address or authorization number.

Contact Wendy Sledd at wsledd@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476

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