California Attorney General Kala Harris is warning residents to protect themselves from identity theft, using a recent case in which hundreds of email accounts were hacked as grounds for added vigilance.
George Bronk, 23, recently pleaded guilty for breaking into a number of email accounts and Facebook profiles from December 2009 to September 2010. He could serve up to six years in a state prison.
"This case highlights the fact that anyone with an e-mail account is vulnerable to identity theft," Harris said. "One of the major goals of my office is to track down and prosecute every criminal who would stoop to stealing people's identities."
Harris says individuals can protect themselves from identify theft by using numbers or unique letters for their security answers, making their passwords harder to guess.
If you believe you may be a victim of identity theft you should order and review a copy of your credit report. If you spot any mistakes it could be a red flag and should be reported right away. Many people have found success by visiting a credit repair company, which can help remove the fraudulent accounts.