Brazen Thieves Use Own Names in Credit Scam - WBAY

Brazen Thieves Use Own Names in Credit Scam


Surveillance video at a Sam's Club store in Michigan exposed thieves going on huge shopping sprees and provided a good lesson for businesses.

The brazen thieves filled out credit application forms using the names of legitimate businesses and included themselves as users on the account.
They had photos taken of themselves and used their actual names and personal information.

"The most unique thing is essentially how stupid the bad guys were," said Carla Menendez, U.S. Postal Inspector.

The suspects were buying big ticket items like TVs, laptops and iPads.  They would turn around and sell the items.
Postal inspectors say it wasn't hard to catch up with this duo once Sam's Club fraud investigators tipped them off.

"Going in and allowing their own picture taken in a Sam's Club, allowing their own personal information to open these accounts thinking they are just going to get away with it," said Menendez.

They thieves did get away with it for a little while, and that time gap is exactly what the suspects counted on.
They would usually use an account for two weeks and then move on.

"Most of these business were very large businesses, therefore they make a lot of money and a lot of purchases," said Menendez.

In all, there were 21 companies impacted and tens of thousands of dollars in losses.
Inspectors say most of the companies were unaware of the charges.

"Purchasing a computer, laptop, is related to their business and wouldn't make them question it unless someone brought it to their attention," said Menendez.

Both suspects in this case were sentenced to 12-to-15 months in prison.

Investigators say their advice to businesses applies to everyone: always check bank statements and credit reports.

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