Local News

Man Accused Of Using Cell Phone Business To Steal Identities

Posted February 11, 2005

— Identity thieves can strike anywhere -- bank accounts, credit cards, and now even cell phones.

Police said Joseph Wicker stole several identities when he worked for a cell phone company in 2002 and 2003.

Investigators said Wicker later opened his own business, Sanford Wireless, from his car.

According to authorities, he took hundreds of dollars from people with bad credit in exchange for cell phones.

Detectives said Wicker used the identities he stole to get the phones.

Cell phone identity theft is more common than you might think. In 2003, setting up a new cell phone account was the second-most popular means of ID theft in North Carolina. It accounted for 8.5 percent of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.

The most popular complaint was someone stealing an identity to open a new credit card account, which racked up more than 20 percent of the year's complaints.

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