LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying a man caught on surveillance cameras making expensive purchases on a credit card created under the guise of a false identity.
According to detectives, the victim realized in late February that his identity had been compromised when he received a phone call from American Express confirming that he had applied for a credit card account – which he had not.
The victim eventually discovered that an unknown suspect managed to divert some of his cell phone calls to another untraceable cell phone, which was used on the applications of credit cards for T-Mobile, American Express, Sprint and the Bank of America.
Before the victim even realized that someone had used his personal identification, and diverted some of his phone calls, an unknown suspect was able to open a Bank of America account.
Police say an unknown man made two separate purchases at Wal-Mart, one for $5,000 and one for $2,000 using the victim’s information.
Further investigation revealed that the victim’s Social Security number and other personal information had been used on all of the applications.
“In a day where technology is so prevalent, it’s almost impossible to keep personal identification totally secure,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Once that information falls into the wrong hands, it can cause long-term problems for the victims, as there is no way of gauging where that information is being used until it’s too late.
Anyone with information on the identity of the man who used one of the fraudulent credit cards is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.