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Financial Institutions Urge Awareness About Identity Theft

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Never give an account number or PIN number to someone who calls on the phone. Never give an account number or PIN number to someone who calls on the phone.
If you suspect your account may have been breached, call your financial institution immediately and have them change the account number. If you suspect your account may have been breached, call your financial institution immediately and have them change the account number.
Brooks said many financial institutions offer their own fraud monitoring service. Brooks said many financial institutions offer their own fraud monitoring service.

The U.S. Secret Service may be getting involved in a Tulsa County fraud and identity theft investigation.

The sheriff's office said hundreds of people may have had their identity stolen by a ring that crosses state lines.

As we first reported on Monday, the sheriff's office is actively looking for anyone who may have had their identity stolen.

4/8/2013 Related Story: Records Show Tulsa Identity Theft Suspect Has Long Criminal History

Investigators said the suspects made fake checks to steal money, but there are ways people can protect themselves.

Four people have been arrested, and investigators said Tammy Petit admitted to stealing whatever information she could in order to request birth certificates, Social Security cards or details about a person's driver's license.

She said she made more than a million dollars in 2009.

One of her scams, according to investigators, was to create fake checks in order to steal money.

The Bank of Oklahoma's logo appeared on some of those fake checks.

A spokeswoman said the bank has been working with investigators and encourage everyone to take an active role to protect their money.

TTCU Credit Union was not a financial institution targeted by the suspects, but its vice president of marketing said there are some important things to know to keep accounts safe.

Never give an account number or PIN number to someone who calls on the phone. The bank or credit union would never make such a call.

"We have your card number on file," TTCU's Kristi Brooks said. "We purposely don't keep your pin number, because we don't want that information so that you're the only person that can keep those two things together.

If you suspect your account may have been breached, Kristi Brooks said people need to call their financial institution right away. Bank representatives will change the account number before money can be withdrawn.

4/8/2013 Related Story: Are You Protected Against Identity Theft?

"We can change immediately your checking account number," Brooks said. "The routing number is based on this financial institution, so that's not something that can be changed, but your individual checking account can be changed so those numbers won't go through."

Brooks said many financial institutions offer their own fraud monitoring service.

It will keep watch on your checking or savings accounts, as well as your Social Security number and even contact credit bureaus to make sure your information is safe.

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