Two New York men turned themselves in on warrants Thursday morning for allegedly attempting to use a bogus credit card at the Rite Aid at 435 Main Street in Monroe on July 10. A police investigation determined the duo had approximately 300 other victims of identity theft and credit card fraud.
Det. Michael Chaves told Patch that the crimes span all 50 states. He said the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force is investigating the some 300 cases in conjunction with the Secret Service.
Jerome Ravenell, 30, of 224 York St. in Brooklyn was charged with 10 counts of unlawful completion or reproduction of a credit card; and Dequan Bates, 21, of 53 Grant Street in Hempstead was charged with one count of accessory to commit unlawful completion or reproduction of a credit card. Both were held on $50,000 court set bond and are scheduled to be arraigned today.
On July 10, 2012, Monroe police officers were dispatched to Rite Aid on the report of a man attempting to use a fraudulent credit card. After an investigation, Bates and Ravenell were arrested on numerous financial crime and identity theft charges.
While searching the suspects, officers found a "thumb drive" in Ravenell's pocket, police said.
A digital forensic exam was conducted on the USB storage device for evidence relating to credit card fraud or ID theft. Located on the USB storage device were files containing track data from credit/debit cards, police said, adding the files contained track data from credit/debit cards indicating approximately 300 other victims of ID theft and credit card fraud.
The USB storage device also contained a digital photo, a headshot of Dequan Bates. This picture was used on the fraudulent Florida driver's license in Bates' possession, according to a police press release.
Based on the results of this investigation, arrest warrants were obtained for both Ravenell and Bates.
What to Do If Your Credit Card Is Compromised
According to the Better Business Bureau's information on credit card fraud , the following credit bureaus allow you to check a credit report or report identity fraud, as they monitor activity on consumer credit accounts:
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, Ga. 30374
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, Texas 75013
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, Pa. 19022