Cases of identity theft reported
Thieves victimized more than a dozen League City residents recently by obtaining credit or debit cards via leaked personal information and making unauthorized charges at Dallas-area Wal-Mart stores.
League City police have received 15 to 20 reports of identity theft in the last two to three weeks, League City Police Lt. Bruce Whitten said.
The six reports of unauthorized charges that police received Wednesday were:
A 35-year-old man in the 2800 block of Diamond Bay Drive had $366.92 charged on his debit card at a Wal-Mart store in Mesquite.
A 43-year-old woman in the 1100 block of River Court had $539.09 charged on her check card at a Wal-Mart store in Irving.
A 57-year-old woman in the 2600 block of Knoxville Drive had $430.84 charged on her Visa debt card at a Wal-Mart store in Grand Prairie.
A 40-year-old woman in the 200 block of Oakwood Street had $477.10 charged on a debit or credit card at a Wal-Mart store in Lake Worth.
A 31-year-old woman in the 1400 block of E. League City Parkway had $389.70 charged on her debit card at a Wal-Mart store in Mesquite.
The thieves used the victims' personal information obtained through a subsidiary of a local bank and obtained the credit or debit cards in their names without their knowledge, Whitten said.
The cards were then used to make unauthorized charges, Whitten said.
The victims never saw, got, handled or touched the cards," Whitten said.
Whitten declined to provide the name of the area bank, citing an ongoing investigation, but said the personal information was compromised by the subsidiary years ago. The bank is aware of the breach and is working to address it, he said.
Several months ago, the bank had a rash of League City victims in the same type of identity theft, but the unauthorized charges were then made in Illinois, Whitten said.
This happens every so often," Whitten said.
Once the unauthorized charges are reported to police and presented to the bank, the victims are reimbursed, Whitten said. They can also fill out an identity-theft kit that puts fraud alerts on their accounts.
From that point, anything that is suspicious, a significant expenditure, or if a credit card is tried to open up with their information, they're automatically alerted," Whitten said. So, what it does is mitigate any further damage to their name or credit."
Whitten emphasized that people need to regularly check their credit or sign up for a service that monitors it.
You want to do everything you can to try to make sure your stuff is never used," he said.
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