Did you hear about the identity thief in Seattle who tried to open a JC Penney credit card account with one of the very women whose identity she had stolen?
The Seattle Times reports that the (tall) Federal agents had shown identity theft victim Michelle McCambridge a surveillance photo of the woman who stole her identity. Michelle didn’t recognize the lady then, but she sure did when the lady came up to the counter where Michelle worked at JC Penney and tried to sign up for a credit card.
Michelle stepped away and made sure the manager got an image of the lady and reported it to law enforcement. Because of her cool thinking, she helped law enforcement apprehend the woman and four others who were part of an id theft ring that had defrauded at least 39 people.
The key in cracking the case, authorities say, was that Michelle and other victims got active in their cases and contacted the stores to make sure they saved their security tapes.
That doesn’t happen very often, [Agent Velling] said. Usually, people just file a police report, cancel their accounts, and the cases languish for lack of evidence and resources.
“Identity-theft crimes are some of the most difficult criminal cases to investigate,” Velling said.