Weatherford Democrat

May 2, 2014

Sheriff’s office investigating identification theft


Weatherford Democrat

The Parker County Criminal Investigation Division is investigating a case of identification theft and fraud where merchandise was recovered. Sheriff’s investigators believe the merchandise was purchased with a stolen credit card.

Sheriff Larry Fowler said a female contacted sheriff’s investigators after she grew suspicious of activity an acquaintance requested of her.

On April 16, 2014, the complainant reported she met a man on a website, who began sending her gifts. As the online relationship progressed, the man began sending her additional expensive gifts for men, women and children, requesting her to send them to an address located out of the country.

The woman voluntarily turned the items over to the sheriff’s office.

The items include a 55” TV, two gold and diamond rings, three gold necklaces with jewels, about one dozen items of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, three pairs of shoes and two smart phones.

Sheriff’s investigators said the case is typical of those associated with identity theft by stealing someone’s credit card and purchasing items over the Internet. Once the suspect gains the trust of a victim, they have the items shipped to the victim’s address. The suspect then asks the victim to send the items to another address outside the United States, leaving all traces of the items leading back to the victim.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the incident is a typical scam case, where victims may feel flattered or special, placing their trust with the suspect. Fowler said most often the suspects sell the items for profit overseas.

“It’s a cycle which takes advantage of people, using them as their ‘go-to person’ in the scam,” Fowler said. “We want to make the public aware of these scams and caution them against associating with persons they are not commonly familiar with. These sorts of actions should be a red flag to individuals who conduct business over the Internet or anyone who meets people through Internet sites, especially if you are not the one making initial contact.”