CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We hear stories all the time about people having their identity stolen.
But Tuesday morning, a very notable figure in North Carolina revealed they previously had their identity stolen.
Former Governor Pat McCrory revealed Tuesday on his radio show that he is a victim of identity theft. The bigger headline is it happened while he was still governor.
“Identity theft is huge right now, I am going to break some news right now, when I was Governor of North Carolina, my identity was stolen,” McCrory told listeners.
It truly can happen to anyone at any point, even a high profile sitting politician.
Former Governor McCrory explained what happened on the Pat McCrory show on Newstalk 1110 and 93.3 WBT radio.
“Someone else did my taxes out of Florida as the governor of North Carolina and actually got a refund and it changed my life, because whenever I do my taxes I have to use a special security code," he said on the show.
So how did this happen?
The FBI investigated and concluded that Russian hackers working with a couple in Florida stole governor McCrory’s information, and enough so to apply for his refund, which means they filed it before he did.
It’s a common tax time scam, which is why you shouldn’t wait to file your return.
How’d they get his information? That much is still unknown, but the likely suspects are government agency hacks, or maybe a hack of his medical records.
Were they targeting him? Likely no, he was a name and social security number in a pool of information that was hacked. But if it can happen to him, you bet it can happen to you.
McCrory added, “I’m scared of technology regarding ID theft.”
Governor McCrory isn’t alone in that. This frightens a lot of people because these scams take many forms. The “grandparent scam”, the “you missed jury duty” scam, the “sweetheart scam” in February, and the list goes on.
A common thread is someone threatening you in exchange for money, or maybe calling you saying they are a family member and they need money and help.
As Bill McGinty always says, it’s ok to be suspicious. Hang up and call the person directly on numbers you have independently, not on numbers they give you.