MOUNT VERNON — Reports of account fraud and identity theft have become more and more prevalent as technology marches on and the world becomes a smaller place. And account fraud in the areas of fundraisers and donations have not been exempt, and possibly even more common. Knox County has been no exception to the rule, either.
After the deaths of Tina Herrmann, Kody Maynard and Stephanie Sprang last fall, an account was set up for the benefit of the Herrmann family. A boyfriend of Herrmann’s allegedly withdrew money from the account and claimed it was being used for purposes for which it was donated, according to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher. However, verification was never provided. All the money was returned, and how the money was to be spent was to be worked out between the fund originator and those in charge of the family estate.
Other cases have surfaced locally where individuals have falsely posed themselves as owners of an account in an effort to illegally retrieve funds.
How is one to know that funds in an account are safe, and how are these funds protected from criminals?