ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Seven students in a Simpson College journalism class spent spring 2017 researching and writing this report about identity theft and cybersecurity. Team members were:
- Ashley Smith of Edina, Minnesota
- Madison Wilson of Corydon, Iowa
- Alex Kirkpatrick of Indianola, Iowa
- Stephanie Woodruff of Fairfield, Iowa
- Erich Bogner of Keokuk, Iowa
- Clayton Bowers of Indianola, Iowa
- Hunter Hillygus of Marshalltown, Iowa
Mark Siebert, Simpson College assistant professor of multimedia communication, led the class. IowaWatch executive director-editor Lyle Muller worked with the class on story development and editing.
We trust the systems we use to buy things, including those on the internet. Yet, instances in which Iowans’ identity was stolen jumped 30 percent, from a rate of 56 people for every 100,000 Iowans in 2014 to 73 just a year later, in 2015, a special IowaWatch/Simpson College journalism project revealed.
Most of the thefts happened via the internet, the report, which you can read here, stated.
Christy Eichelberger, 51, of Altoona, speaks in this IowaWatch Connection report about being devastated when thieves stole her identity to make online purchases in 2003. They hacked her eBay account and stole $1,300.
Restoring her identity was not easy, Eichelberger said. “There were extra steps that we had to take to make sure that I really was who I said I was,” she said.
In 2015, Iowa recorded 2,214 total impersonation reports. But more than one victim was targeted in some incidents. In all, 2,558 Iowa victims were involved in those 2015 cases.
Tracy Loynachan, a statistical research analyst at the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said the vast majority of these victims were individuals, while the others were business, financial institutions, governments, unrecorded or unknown.
You will hear in this podcast from identity theft victims, security experts and the journalists who compiled this report as an IowaWatch/Simpson College journalism project. To learn more about the IowaWatch Connection and previous programs go to this link.
TO LEARN HOW IOWAWATCH’S NONPROFIT JOURNALISM IS FUNDED AND HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT IT, GO TO THIS LINK.