Retired veteran gets wrong personal information from Federal Government

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A shocking discovery in a stack of mail on Monday for a retired Army vet. A federal form, which he's received many times, had some information that was not meant for him.

Retired Army Sergeant First Class Tommy Baughman glanced at the pay statement from the US Department of Finance and Accounting Service.

Everything looked normal on the front page. "I was happy to see it's an increase of money," says Baughman.

But when he flipped over the statement, it didn't seem right. The information wasn't his and he quickly realized, this was serious.

"If I've got this guys information then somebody out there most likely has mine," says Baughman.

Identity theft is a serious crime, that is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.

"In an age of ID theft, cyber crimes, this is very sensitive information," adds Baughman.

Virginia currently ranks 17th in the nation in total number of victims from ID theft.

If you find yourself a victim of ID theft, the Attorney General's Office says there are several things you should do, immediately.

"The first thing you should do is contact your affiliation or organization," says David Clementson, with the Attorney General's office.

That way they can correct the problem. If you think there's any chance someone has stolen your ID, file a police report.

"The next thing would be to contact a federal credit bureau," says Clementson.

Federal law allows you to receive one free credit report every year.

Back at home, Baughman is looking for an answer from the government, fast.

"In a day when everyone can easily connect the dots," he says, "yes, this needs to be addressed. If it's human error, take action. If it's system, take action."

In the meantime, you can take action on your own. To find out the companies that you can request a your credit report from, from Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.

We did get in contact with the Department of Finance and Accounting Service. At this point, we're told they are investigating the situation and are looking into our inquiry.

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