Additional information regarding the case of the College Park, Georgia man, arrested on multiple counts of Identity Theft, has now been released – and, it looks as though the web stretches across the U.S.
25 year old Alpha Oumar Diallo, was arrested on Wednesday of this week – and charged with 30 counts of Identity Theft.
He had been arrested on September 22nd as well – and on that date he had been charged with the Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card. His arrest at that time was made by Centre Police Officers Will Clark and Bobby Winters. Later, Investigators Jeff Bryant and Randy Mayorga were brought in, as it became apparent that this wasn’t just a simple case of someone using a stolen credit card.
THIS was a bit more sophisticated – with Diallo allegedly using gift cards where the information had been wiped clean, then re-loaded with a stolen identity.
Investigator Randy Mayorga expalined how the process works:
The investigation had been prompted by a report from an alert store clerk, when Diallo attempted to use one of the cards to make a purchase. The clerk noticed that the information on the card did NOT match the information on the printed receipt – she then contacted authorities.
Investigator Mayorga told us that following the first arrest on September 22nd they retained both Diallo’s vehicle and – a potentially valuable source of information – his cell phone:
He informed WEIS Radio News that several agencies are now working together on this case with the Centre Police Department; Investigator Mayorga also stressed, that everyone should be aware of the dangers associated with identity theft, and everyone should take every precaution to lessen the likelihood of being victimized.
Bond for Diallo has been set at $225,000.
Tips for Preventing Identity Loss
Identity thieves steal your personal information to commit fraud. They can damage your credit status and cost you time and money restoring your good name. To reduce your risk of becoming a victim, follow the tips below:
- Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write it on your checks. Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.
- Protect your PIN. Never write a PIN on a credit/debit card or on a slip of paper kept in your wallet.
- Watch out for “shoulder surfers”. Use your free hand to shield the keypad when using pay phones and ATMs.
- Collect mail promptly. Ask the post office to put your mail on hold when you are away from home for more than a day or two.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
- Keep your receipts. Ask for carbons and incorrect charge slips as well. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
- Tear up or shred unwanted receipts, credit offers, account statements, expired cards, etc., to prevent dumpster divers getting your personal information.
- Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work. Don’t leave it lying around.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information in the mail, over the phone or online.
- Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
- Check your credit report once a year. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gotten access to your account information.