Montgomery Co. Family Nearly Loses Thousands In Identity Theft
MONTGOMERY Twp. (CBS) — Police in Montgomery County say an ID theft investigation uncovered thieves racking up thousands of dollars in charges at a furniture store, a chain they may have hit before.
“I noticed the first charge was $6,000 and some,” Jim McKenzie said.
“He was concerned right away,” Kathy McKenzie added.
The McKenzies were concerned because during one of Jim’s routine checks of their finance accounts, he noticed Kathy’s American Express account posted recent purchases of about $20,000 at Raymour & Flanigan in Montgomery Township.
Jim said, “So I called American Express right away and told them this is not mine.”
That’s when they learned there was a pending transaction for another $10,000 at Raymour & Flanigan. Jim says the statement, however, did not specify which store.
“The next day, I got a call from the Abington police,” Jim said.
According to police, Raymour & Flanigan officials also contacted authorities to report the fraudulent activity. Turns out, Raymour & Flanigan in Abington was hit in October by thieves who used a fraudulent check.
Raymour & Flanigan officials told police, the mailing address the thieves used during the October incident is the same address used to make the purchases in Montgomery Township.
Multiple agencies are now working on this investigation to see who’s behind the theft and how they’re compromising their victim’s accounts.
The McKenzies are baffled. They want to know how someone got a hold of their card number when they still have the card.
“Someone unscrupulous gets their mail, somebody hacks into a computer system, whether the card is out of your possession. Unfortunately, there’s a number of ways someone’s account can be compromised,” Det. Lisa Burton with the Abington Police Department explained.
Police say watching where you use your card and sharing your information cautiously are your best defense.
“And check your statements frequently,” Jim added.
Jim McKenzie does and detected the fraudulent charge the day after it was posted on his account. He immediately opened a fraud case with American Express, saving himself the trouble of fighting the charges. Police say the investigation into how and who compromised the McKenzies’ account is continuing.
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Reported By: Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3