Woman arrested for harassment, identity deception

From Local Sources


WASHINGTON — A Daviess County woman was taken into custody this week on a warrant capping a four-month investigation into spam text messages.

Indiana State Police at the Jasper Post say a victim reported harassment in February after having received numerous, daily spam text messages starting in late January.

Police report the victim had been targeted by people on social media who were against a referendum for raising taxes to fund projects for Washington Community Schools. Due to this, police said, the victim believed that the suspect may have been one of these people.

An investigation by Detective Jarrod Lents revealed that one of the suspects, Rikki Lyford, 38, Washington, had allegedly created a Google email in the name of the victim and then used this email account to sign the victim up for numerous spam text messages. Approximately 70 to 100 messages a day were received by the victim for approximately three months. Two other victims also received similar messages, as well as false complaints directed to their employers. It is unknown if Lyford is responsible for the actions against the other two victims, police said.

A warrant was issued for Lyford’s arrest and Lents took her into custody on Monday.

Authorities incarcerated Lyford at the Daviess County Security Center on the warrant charging her with Level 6 felony counts of identity deception and counterfeiting and a misdemeanor count of harassment.

Police announcing the arrest noted all suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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