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Del. Rust another victim of California thieves

Rosalind Helderman

Del. Tom Rust (R-Fairfax) confirms that he was a victim of the same California identity thieves who opened a credit card in the name of Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and used it to buy medical marijuana.

There was no pot involved in his situation, Rust said. But he said he learned in January from American Express that people in California were using his personal information to try to open a card in his name. He quickly changed his information and canceled his cards. But when American Express sent him a new card ... they sent it right back out to the guys in California. "That's when the gallows humor started," he said.

Rust said he's gotten everything straightened out now, but authorities did eventually inform him that he was the victim of the same scammers who got Saslaw. He speculated that they were not targeted because they're state lawmakers but suggested that there might be more publicly available information about them to get the thieves started.

And the lesson of the whole thing? Identity theft can happen to anyone. State Sen. Toddy Puller (D-Fairfax) said Friday that she had much the same experience in the fall, although in her case, police have tracked the theft back to Delaware.

"It's frightening," Rust said.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 21, 2010; 4:26 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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If you think California adults should be allowed to use marijuana legally, please support the ballot initiative Control & Tax Cannabis 2010, which will be on the November ballot. Sign up for the e-mail list to get updates on the campaign. Visit the campaign website at

Posted by: AB390 | May 21, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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