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Wisconsin DMV discovers Madison-area driver’s license fraud ring

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles is being honored for a investigation that led to the discovery a Madison-area fraud ring that was stealing driver’s licenses.

The DMV’s Compliance, Audit and Fraud Unit recently received an award from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators for its work looking into complaints from had received driver’s licenses they had never requested. After the complainants reached out to state officials in May 2019, he DMV’s Fraud Unit discovered someone had been stealing mail from mailboxes in the Madison area — the same place where the duplicate licenses had been ordered. Investigators also received similar reports from people in Verona, Belleville, Oregon and Edgerton.

The DMV discovered the scheme was the work of a possible identity-theft ring and notified law enforcement and the affected customers. The Fraud Unit said criminals had obtained the customers’ confidential information from other sources and used it to order replacement licenses and credit cards.

The DMV turned over its findings to the Department of Justice, which is working across state lines to uncover identity theft linked to the Wisconsin cases.

Kristina Boardman, DMV administrator, said as a result of this case, DMV systems have been provided with additional scanning and protections to prevent potential fraud before ID or driver’s license are mailed out. Customers may also sign up for the DMV’s eNotify service to receive alerts about activity related to their driver’s licenses.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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