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Howard Ain Troubleshooter: Identity Theft Alert
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- You may be very surprised at just how easy it is to steal your credit card information and go on a shopping spree.
It happened to a lot of people recently in Indianapolis.
You're looking at bank surveillance photos of a crime in progress. The women in the photos are walking into banks to get cash advances on stolen credit card accounts. The ringleader of the ID theft ring, Willy Harris, recruited them.
He obtained the account numbers by simply calling people who were the cardholders.
U.S. Postal Inspector Cecil Frank says, “They will make phone calls to individuals and they will act like they are a credit card company and ask for the information.”
Once he got the information, Harris would call the credit card company and add himself as a user on the account.
Frank continues, “Just normal people all across America who had no idea that their credit cards were being compromised.”
Harris would recruit accomplices and offer them a cut. Then he would spend.
Harris spent thousands of dollars on jewelry. In fact, he liked to design his own customer jewelry. Postal inspectors say he was brazen.
So consumers need to remember to protect themselves.
The bottom line, never give out any personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call.
If someone calls claiming to be from your credit card company, ask for a phone number so you can call them back. Then check to see if the number is really to your credit card company. If it’s not, call your credit card company and let them know what happened.
Howard Ain, Local 12 Troubleshooter.