Target 2: ID Theft in the ER - WBAY

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Target 2: ID Theft in the ER

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A visit to the E.R. is the last place you need to be worrying about identity theft. But here's a story that proves the point that identity thieves lurk where you least expect them.

And in this case, the victims had no way of protecting themselves.

Imagine you're being wheeled into an emergency room for crisis care. Thoughts are running through your head, but worrying about someone stealing your identity probably isn't one of them.

Asia Tompkins was a hospital registry clerk in Richmond, Virginia.

"When people came into the ER or off an ambulance, her job was to take their information and load it into a computer," US Postal Inspector Michael Romano said.

After she registered patients into the hospital, she stole their personal information.

"She applied for more than 130 credit cards in other individuals' names," Romano said.

How did she use the money? Postal inspectors got several leads from her own Facebook page.

Under Tompkins's likes: Shopping, shopping, shopping, and getting money.

"After she made purchases the Inspection services was able to track down those purchases. We had her on video surveillance making the purchases, then a search warrant was issued to her home."

They found high-end clothing, jackets, boots, cash, and a log of personal information.

"The loss was $50,000. The impact was extremely significant with 130 victims compromised," Romano said.

Postal inspectors worked with victims to monitor their credit. Most said they were stunned where it happened.

"It's a situation where people came into the hospital expecting services and not expecting to have their identity breached."

Tompkins accepted a plea deal for identity theft and bank fraud charges. She's serving three years in prison.

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