Columbus mother warns about ID theft after impersonator contacts friends with children

One of the messages from the imposter (Source: Nancy Anderson)
One of the messages from the imposter (Source: Nancy Anderson)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A case of stolen identity through the phone is something Columbus resident Nancy Anderson said she never thought she would be the target of.

Anderson says she received screenshots from one of her friends that showed text messages being exchanged by someone falsely using her name.

"They asked her for a playdate and they could have abducted her child," Anderson said.

The impersonator said in the messages that "Nancy" had a dropped her phone and got a replacement, along with a new number.

However, this isn't the only time this type of conversation happened.

"The same exact messages from the exact phone number, one girl even had someone almost come to their brother's hockey game," Anderson said.  

After posting the screenshots on Facebook warning her friends of the false identity, several others reached out to Anderson saying they had fallen victim to the texts too. All of them were female.

"I put it out there as soon as I found out because I don't want someone's kid to get hurt or something," Anderson said.

Anderson said when she traced the number back, it was located from a texting app. She said she has no idea who is behind the messages.

"As soon as you call them out and tell them you know they're not who they say they are, they immediately stop texting back," Anderson.

Anderson also says she's worried about how easy it was for strangers to access her information online through social media, especially when involving her children.

"Someone's going through all these people's Facebook or Instagram or whatever, and finding out all the details of their personal life, and who they talk to and they dug so deep that they found out about my children and they find out that I have a job where I work," Anderson said.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, oversharing information on social media is one of the easiest ways that identity theft occurs. 

"You never think about what you say online, you're giving them your whole life," Anderson said. "It was obviously really easy for people to get all of these phone numbers, so just watch what you say."

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