February 14, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has caught what investigators are calling a "big player" in a local credit card fraud scheme.
Deputies say the man tricked what could be dozens of people out of their personal information and used it to steal their identity.
Richmond County investigators aren't releasing the man's name yet, but they are saying people can feel a little safer tonight because this man is off the street.
Here's how deputies say the scam worked: the man would simply use the phone book to find people's names and numbers. Then he would call them, pretending to be a fraud investigator, and ask them to verify their entire credit card number, social security number, mother's maiden name and date of birth.
Then he would use that info to get new cards and use them to purchase things for himself.
Investigators say this man has been caught, but there is a possibility there could be others still on the loose.
"Pretty sure we have a major player, but the investigation is ongoing," said Inv. Mike Lanham. "We're continuing to follow up on other leads at this time."
Deputies also say there is a lesson to be learned for everyone in this.
Don't give out your personal information over the phone. Your credit card company already has it and can verify who you are by other means.
As for what's next, investigators say they may still be looking for other suspects.
This guy is being charged with three counts of financial transaction card fraud, which are felonies.