Identity Theft Gone Dog Wild
In a uniquely odd new way for identity theft
to be perpetrated, an 84 year old New York woman,
was scammed for at least $50,000 in fraudulent ATM
and credit transactions.
It seems the owner of an dog walker service, who
had befriended the victim through the victim's
daughter, used the relationship to live rent free
and to steal from his victim to support a lifestyle
which also included evidence of casino activity.
According to the North County Gazette:
"From May 2007 to August 2007, he used a
Chase/VISA debit card in the victim’s name
and allegedly stole $36,618 from the victim’s
personal Chase bank account. Prosecutors said
Natale stole $14,660 from the victim’s Citibank
On 14 separate occasions, Natale allegedly either
wrote himself checks using her Citibank checkbook
or wrote checks to cash. He allegedly forged and
endorsed her name on all the checks and either
cashed or deposited them into his own bank account."
This identity thief violated the trust of a hospital,
elderly client to pursue his criminal intent.
Fortunately, though, this identity theft scam artist
was caught after the victim's noticed family
noticed suspicious ATM withdrawals and
contacted law enforcement.
So, our tip for today is for anyone who has elderly
relatives that have suddenly met a person who's
all to willing to handle the mail and pay
bills on behalf of their intended victim.
Be wary of any attempts to gain access to ATM
card passwords or joint access to credit cards.
Additionally, make sure you get your elderly
relative enrolled in fraud monitoring
services for their banking and credit accounts.
Finally, make sure to tell a friend about this
unusual new way identity theft can dog a relative.