John Becker, fraud victim explained, “I went to apply for a couple of credit cards and got declined.”
SO, John Becker called his bank and found out someone had racked up more than $12-thousand dollars in charges on one credit card.
“I said why would you give me $12-thousand dollars’ worth of credit… and they said things started getting charged things so fast that they ran up a 12/13-thousand dollar limit before the credit card company even realized what was going on,” John said.
Dennis Sergeev – a Russian national – is the man responsible. He stole the identities of more than 50 people and accrued 40-thousand dollars in losses.
Blance Alvarez, US Postal Inspector explained, “He was active online – claims he received the stolen identities online. That is what he lived off of… that was his only income.”
After finding hundreds of fraudulent credit cards in a P.O. box owned by Segreev – postal inspectors arrested him.
“When we interviewed this defendant at his home, he confessed and compared himself to Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me if you Can,” Alvarez said.
The movie with DiCaprio …as a conartist… who’s always one step ahead of authorities…
“But instead of having flight attendants escorting him out he had female postal inspectors escorting him to jail,” said Alvarez.
When inspectors searched Segreev’s home...
“We found a lot of credit cards in victims’ names hidden all through that house,” Alvarez told us.
They also found stereo’s – cameras – TVs – phones and cash. Some advice—no matter how old you are, check your credit at least once a year to make sure your identity hasn’t been stolen.
“Teenagers will take a picture of their driver’s license and put it on their FB page//because they are proud. They don’t realize they are giving up their DOB, their address, their name, which is very important. Identity thieves scour the Internet looking for this information,” Alvarez warned.
Postal inspectors say if your identity has ever been stolen, you need to put a fraud alert on your credit right away. This will alert credit bureaus that you have had a problem in the past.
As for Sergeev, he was arrested on federal ID theft charges and sentenced to 3 years in prison and more than $40-thousand dollars in restitution. Deportation to Russia was ordered after the time was served.
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