PayPal Identity Fraud Hits Pittsburgh Cops, City Workers

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Ever receive a bill from PayPal for a purchase you didn’t make?

This exact headache happened in Pittsburgh, but this online identity fraud didn’t happen to just anyone.

Turns out, the online identity theft and identity fraud hit the city’s police force, which means the entire city is taking notice.

It all began in late July, when three Pittsburgh police officers mentioned they had each been billed for unknown PayPal charges in their names.

The more they discussed it, the more they realized this problem was perhaps widespread through the entire city.

Upon further investigation, the police say nearly 30 Pittsburgh city employees have been victimized through the online payment service PayPal.

Police say cyberthieves set up account numbers using city employees’ names, addresses, and at least partial Social Security numbers.

The online identity fraud allegedly ranged from $40 to $3,000 via PayPal, affecting employees in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Bureau of Building Inspection, Public Works, City Council, and administrative offices.

A police detective alerted all affected city workers via email, encouraging them to contact PayPal to dispute the charges, close the accounts, and call 911 to make a police report.

In addition, as with any identity theft victim, the affected should also immediately contact the three main credit reporting companies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi’s manager of digital content strategy.