The Floyd County Police Department is attempting to identify an elderly woman. The woman is likely to be a witness to numerous identity fraud cases in the north Georgia area which include breaking and entering automobiles.
The photograph shows the woman interacting with a teller at the West Walnut Avenue branch of Wells Fargo Bank in Dalton. Any help from the public would be appreciated if the woman can be identified by her family, friends or acquaintances.
Two cars were entered in Rome Ga on May 19, 2014 around 5 p.m. The suspect smashed windows from vehicles and took a purse from one vehicle that contained cash, checkbooks, credit cards and various forms of identification.
One of the victims in that case was a Wells Fargo customer who immediately reported the incident to her bank. This turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to freeze all activity. The victim reported to police that she was on the telephone for more than three hours with the bank but the thieves were yet able to defraud the bank of $3,000 the following day.
The theft was due in part to a failure from the bank to properly identify patrons. Most devastating to the victim was a Wells Fargo policy that benefits criminals in these situations.
The fraud occurs when a check is written to the order of the victim using stolen checks. Because the victim is a customer in good standing at Wells Fargo, the bank cashes the check in good faith – only to find later that the account was frozen.
In this example the checks were stolen from south Georgia three months earlier. There are others where the checks were stolen from out of state.
1. Common sense is the first obvious step. Don’t leave valuables unattended in plain view inside your vehicle – especially cash or credit cards. Purses and bags are handy for victims but they also make for easy toting by thieves.
2. Don’t talk to strangers. If you are approached in the parking lot of a shopping center or bank with an offer you should be cautious because you could be an unwitting participant. The exact nature of the elderly woman’s involvement is unknown. It may be that she believed she was helping someone in need.
3. Shred credit card statements and bank statements. Also be aware of who is watching you when you enter your debit PIN.
4. Don’t divulge bank or credit account information over the phone or via text.
Please notify Sgt. Chris Fincher of the Floyd County Police Department at 706-314-0917 or contact the agency Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/FloydCountyPoliceDepartment