For years, Arizona has either been at or near the top nationally when it comes to identity theft. The woman we're about to introduce you to is a classic example why. Authorities say she's victimized hundreds of victims in our community for well over a decade now.
This is the curious case of Roxanne Nuckols.
Skimming over the indictment she was arraigned on last week, 46 year old Roxanne Nuckols appears to be a very busy woman.
Identity theft, fraud, forgery, narcotics -- just some of the charges she faces on the nine-count indictment.
"Just like you and I go to work every day, put in eight to ten hours. This was her job," says Deputy Jesus Banuelos of the Pima County Sheriff's Department. "This is what she did and did quite well."
Nuckols has been on the radar of the sheriff's department ever since she was identified passing a bad check at Walmart Neighborhood Market near Ruthrauff and La Cholla.
That was last October.
Three months later she was implicated in another fraud case. This time, as the issuer of a fake prescription, identified by a savvy pharmacist at a local Walgreens.
Upon further review, investigators realized they weren't dealing with a typical street-level crook.
The contents she left behind in a storage unit only confirmed their suspicions.
"If you can just imagine there was a file cabinet of sorts that had names of different victims, along with their social security numbers, their address," Banuelos says.
Dozens and dozens of victim profiles, complete with all their personal information.
With it, Nuckols could create multiple identities for herself, obtain credit cards, even write bad prescriptions.
Using those bad scripts, authorities say she enticed other criminals to steal more information for her.
And they'd do this by way of mail, bank statements anything left on your front seat or glove-box.
"You could say it's a barter system," Banuelos says. "They have information that this person wants and Miss Nuckols apparently would take that information."
While this suspect's luck is apparently running out countless more continue to do the same.
Which is why it's so important to shred old checks, bills and bank statements.
Personal information is the lifeblood of every identity thief.
If yours happens to be stolen...
"Do simple things like making copies of everything in your wallet," Banuelos says.
Your best defense is to act immediately.
"Make copies of everything front and back that in there," Banuelos says of your wallet's contents. "And as soon as you find out it's missing, call those immediately and cancel those cards."
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