Peace Arch News

White Rock ID theft leads to Surrey car purchase

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A Surrey woman accused of assuming a resident’s identity and using her debit card to purchase a car is scheduled to appear in Vancouver Provincial Court next week on multiple charges.

White Rock RCMP Const. Janelle Shoihet said Thursday that a woman arrested in Burnaby on Jan. 15 has been connected to identity-theft incidents in Surrey, White Rock, Burnaby and New Westminster between Dec. 20 and Jan. 15.

“(The perpetrator) goes into the bank using the victim’s ID, poses as the victim and takes over the bank card, then uses the debit card to buy herself things,” Shoihet said.

The White Rock incident occurred Dec. 21, when the debit card of a woman who works in the city was compromised. Her identity was then used two days later to facilitate a car loan at a Surrey dealership.

The fraud has been “very stressful” for the victim, Shoihet said, explaining the woman had to deal with multiple agencies in the aftermath of the theft, including ICBC and TransUnion. “That’s a lot to go through. For seven years, they put a flag on your (credit) file.”

Shoihet said she connected the Burnaby suspect to the local file through a phone number that linked to an alias of a woman known by police.

Laura Kozinoski, 43, is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 20 charged with identity theft and fraud over $5,000. Shoihet said further charges are possible.


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