New Credit Card Scheme Preys On Busy Office Workers - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

New Credit Card Scheme Preys On Busy Office Workers

Updated:

A new scheme has resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars for some credit card customers.

Investigators say Joseph Dees and his co-conspirator, Courtney McFeater, were able to make big cash advances on stolen credit cards. U.S. Postal Inspectors say they ran up about $270,000 in a six month period.

Here's how they did it, according to investigators:

First, the suspects would search the internet for office managers or someone working in a busy doctor's office or real estate agency.

Dees would then tell the victims that he was calling because they didn't show for jury duty.
 
"He would say, 'we can take care of this problem right now, you're delinquent jury duty, but we just need some information over the phone,'" said Brian Plants, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Dees proceeded to ask for social security numbers, date of birth, mother's maiden name and current address.
 
With that information, the suspects could call a credit card company and simply ask for a replacement card to be sent to an address they had access to.

"After cards are delivered, they would use different cell phones numbers to call and activate the cards and then use the cards until they were shut off," said Plants.

Victims told postal inspectors the suspect was very convincing.
 
"He was very convincing, and very calm and if they didn't want to give out their information, he would somehow keep them talking and convince them to give out personal information on the phone," said Plants.

"If someone calls you, never give out their personal information to them, 'cause you don't know who is on the other end of the phone call."

The suspects pleaded guilty and are serving their sentences, which vary from 2 to 6 years.

Postal inspectors say, in all, there are about 50 victims.

One of the best ways to protect yourself, is to order free yearly credit reports to make sure no one has taken out loans or credit cards in your name.

Here is the link for more information: http://www.wdfi.org/wca/consumer_credit/credit_guides/freecreditreport.htm

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