LOS ANGELES (CNS) – City Attorney Mike Feuer warned the public of the growing problem of identity theft and said he is putting more resources into tackling such cases.

Feuer said he is assigning two full-time attorneys — one to work with police in the San Fernando Valley and the other to assist detectives in the downtown Los Angeles area — and adding other resources to deal with identity theft cases.

“Identity theft continues to take a devastating financial toll on so many unsuspecting individuals each year,” Feuer said. “My office will continue to take decisive action against perpetrators of identity theft and will empower residents with the information they need to avoid being victims.”

The City Attorney’s Office has filed 375 identity theft cases out of 482 that were reviewed since the beginning of the year. In 2014, the office filed a total of 254 cases out of 406 that were reviewed, Feuer said.

He said his office recently filed cases against people who cashed checks under another person’s name and impersonated another person when reserving and living at a luxury apartment.

Identities are stolen to commit fraud associated with government benefits, credit cards, loans, and utilities, with the Los Angeles Police Department investigating as many as 20 types of identity theft, Feuer said    The public can avoid becoming the victims of identity theft by shredding personal and financial documents, not giving out sensitive information, not using debit cards, locking  mail boxes, and not storing driver’s licenses or registration inside a vehicle.

More tips are available on the city attorney’s website at http://www.lacityattorney.org/#!resources-and-tips/c74z .

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