Waynesville woman charged with identity theft
A Waynesville woman faces two felony charges after using a local man's personal credit information to make purchases.
Tom Moore, 50, said around mid-October, he received a letter in the mail from a credit card company explaining he had been denied approval for a card, which sparked confusion.
"I knew I hadn't applied for one," Moore said.
He decided to subscribe to Lifelock, an online identity theft protection service, and was startled by the results.
"As soon as I opened the subscription they sent me information of every hit that had been made to my credit line. Within two days I knew that she had already opened up a line of credit and made about 12 attempts to get credit using my information," Moore said.
He saw that Kimberly Mitchell Hale already paid her water bill, bought groceries at Dollar General and made a withdrawal from a bank with his card information.
After investigation by the Maggie Valley Police Department, Hale, 47, was charged with felony identity theft, unlawfully obtaining a credit card and misdemeanor credit card fraud. She was arrested Dec. 9 and released on $5,000 unsecured bond.
Moore said what happened to him should be a lesson to others to guard personal information such as credit cards and social security numbers closely.
"We were old acquaintances and somehow she got a hold of my social security number," he said.
Thanks to Lifelock, Moore said, "We were able to catch it real quick before she did any real damage to our credit score."