HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The arrest of several members of an identity theft ring was announced in Bergen County on Friday.
The takedown started with some of the 70 victims calling police.
“If the victims don’t come forward, then we never know,” Prosecutor John Molinelli said.
But once they did report credit cards they didn’t sign up for were coming in the mail, Molinelli said investigators started backtracking.
“We’ve actually been going after these stores, getting verification, identification of these people coming on the ‘Bust Out Crew’ that are making these individual purchases,” Molinelli said.
Eleven members of the “Bust Out Crew” were arrested, including Kyle Davis, who Molinelli said swiped victims’ IDs from account information on stored boxes at C. Marino Records in Paterson, and then sold it to two women, Judith Broadnax and Shontera Jennings, CBS 2′s Christine Sloan reported.
With credit card numbers of victims in hand from stores like Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Lowe’s, Molinelli said the women allegedly made themselves and others in their ring authorized users on the cards, and sold the items before the cards were shut off. The prosecutor alleges the women became authorized users online or by phone, giving their own names but the victims’ addresses.
Losses totaled more than $150,000, the prosecutor said. The identity theft victims called their card providers and got their money back.
“But let your local police know,” Molinelli said.
Molinelli said the accused used the same line every time they went to a store counter.
“Oh and I don’t have my credit card … Can you look it up for me?” the prosecutor said.
C. Marino Records did not want to talk to CBS 2′s Sloan. New Jersey Lenders, which has been cooperating with authorities, is now re-evaluating the way it transports documents.
Experts said you can protect yourself by asking credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your Social Security number.
“Before that credit card is approved they will call the phone number that you put on that alert,” said Sgt. Mark Bendul of the Bergen County White Collar Unit.
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