Rental scam suspect claims identity theft

Posted at 3:30 PM, Apr 08, 2016

The woman who Bakersfield Police identified as a suspect in a property scam last month says she is a victim of identity theft.

Clayton Campbell, Ortiz's lawyer who spoke on her behalf on Friday, said that Ortiz approached him and was adamant about clearing her name.

"When the news story broke, showing her pictures from Facebook, Nicole contacted the police herself," Campbell said.

Campbell said that he conducted his own investigation separate from the police department.

"They (BPD) told me that this incident took place on the east side of town," Campbell said.

"I was able to get GPS data from Nicole's cell phone showing that she didn't go to that part of town on that date."

He also said that Ortiz has strong witnesses to assist in proving her innocence.

"I think most helpful will be all these people that she works with that can attest to the fact that she was at work at the time that this supposedly happened."

Campbell says identity theft is prominent in Kern County and Ortiz is the latest victim.

"What I believe happened is someone took Nicole's Facebook profile photograph, used it, went on to Craigslist, advertised a property for rent and then ended up taking cash, leaving this poor victim who paid money with the only visual in their mind being this photograph on Facebook of Nicole Ortiz," Campbell said.