More than $20,000 was spent using credit cards stolen from a Milton man on the day of the theft, April 21.
The victim was playing golf at the when he got a call from American Express saying there was activity on his credit card that seemed fraudulent. He told Milton police that he had left his wallet locked in a locker in the clubhouse.
Before the day was out, at least seven fraudulent transactions were made at , and two more at Fry's. Video surveillance at both stores clearly shows the same couple apparently making the transactions. Target staff was able to confirm the man bought several thousand dollars worth of gift cards at that time. And they confirmed the same man did the same thing at a Target store in Suwanee earlier in the day. The gift cards had already been used at multiple Target stores in Marietta.
Milton investigators are collecting video surveillance from the stores and from a camera that shows the men's locker room door.
Milton Man's Parent, Grandparents Victims of Fraud
The grandparents and parents of a 24-year-old Milton man have lost $10,000 in what's called the "grandparent scam" by the FBI.
On April 20, the grandparents got a call from someone claiming to be Sgt. James Dunn with the Blue Valley Police Department in Canada. The caller claimed their grandson had been arrested on cocaine charges, and asked that his grandparents be called so his parents wouldn't get upset.
The scammer told his grandmother to send $5,000 to Jose Buron in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic to get her grandson out of jail. Then came another call demanding another $5,000, but this time the young man's grandparents feared they couldn't get the money in time. So they called his mother. She and her husband tried to reach their son, who they knew went to Florida, by phone. But when they couldn't reach him, they wired another $5,000.
It wasn't until later in the day that they got in contact with their son, who told them he was not in jail in Canada, but in Florida with friends. So just after 6 p.m. they reported the scam to Milton police. The investigator provided them with a case number, an identity fraud pamphlet, and advice to report this to the FBI's Internet Crimes Division.
The FBI offers this advice to avoid this kind of scam:
- Resist the pressure to act quickly.
- Try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
- Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail….especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash—once you send it, you can’t get it back.
More Residents Victims of Tax Return Fraud
Two Milton residents are the latest to discover someone stole their identities to file tax returns.
A Morris Road woman told police on April 16 that she worked with APR Taxes to file her return with the IRS. The company attempted to file her return on April 15. But APR got back an error message that said a return had already been filed using her Social Security number.
A Seaward View resident told police nearly the same story. He filed his taxes on April 16, and a day later the IRS notified him someone had already used his Social Security number to file a return.
The victims each notified the FTC, the IRS, and the Social Security Administration about the identity theft.
For questions, email Bob Pepalis.