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Palatka woman claims friend stole her identity

10:23 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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PALATKA, Fla. -- A local woman said she is the victim of identity theft by her own friend.

Because Paris Lawrence waited so long to tell police, they said there isn't enough evidence to charge anyone, leaving her responsible for bills piling up in her name.

"I can't pay for a loan I didn't have taken out," Lawrence said.

The single mother said it started after she left her wallet in her friend's car.

Lawrence said she knew something was wrong when her wallet was returned minus her ID card, but said she had no reason to go to the police.

But weeks later in May, the Palatka resident said she discovered another checking account had been opened under her bank account and overdrafted.

"It just crazy to come find out that somebody done did this, a best friend done did this and everything," Lawrence said.

She said she talked to her friend, who admitted she opened the account and said her friend agreed to pay back the money.

But nearly a month later, she said she had a visitor from a credit lender.

"A lady came to my house because it was time for a payment to be made," Lawrence said.

According to Palatka police, the State Attorney's office is investigating Lawrence for misdemeanor charges for cashing a worthless check.

That's when Lawrence finally went to police.

Copies of the worthless checks show a Palm Coast address.

Lawrence said she's always lived in Palatka, either with her mother or at her current apartment on Roddy Road.

A credit check shows multiple inquiries in April and May from companies Lawrence said she doesn't use.

Because of the delay in reporting, Palatka Police said it is not clear if the situation was identity theft and added they have forwarded all the information to the state attorney's office.

"It's sad because now they pinpointing that it's me," Lawrence said. "And then I know it's not me. Reason why I'm doing this is because my baby and the reason I'm taking it this far is because I know I ain't do it."

Palatka Police said for now there is not enough evidence to charge anyone.

First Coast News

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