People often lose track of their spending habits, resulting in unpleasant surprises when they get denied a transaction at the bank informing them that their accounts have been depleted. Other people are faced with this surprising news not because of their own spending spree, but because an identity thief stole their banking information and let the victim foot the bill.
A simple transaction turned into a shocking revelation
In early 2012, a Waterford, Connecticut, woman was making a routine transfer of funds from her checking account at her local bank. Upon making the request, the teller informed the woman that the majority of the funds in the checking account had been depleted and that she would not be able to make the transaction. Not understanding or recalling what she could have done with the money, she explained the incident to her husband.
Upon further investigation, a bevy of thefts had been occurring
The woman's husband made a visit to the bank to discuss the situation regarding his wife's nearly empty checking account. After looking over the transaction records from the previous few months, the bank manager and the woman's husband found at least eight transactions that may have been fraudulent, totalling more than $2,400.
The thief bought a lot of shoes spending the family's money
Investigators looked into the case and found that the thief had a penchant for expensive shoes, having written checks ranging from $250-$300 at stores like Designer Shoe Warehouse and Journeys. The police found the fraudulent checks and saw the signature of ex-con Kirk Wilson, 32, of Hartford, Connecticut on each one.
They tracked down Wilson and charged him with third degree identity theft, third degree larceny and the illegal possession of a personal identification information device, which authorities believe he used to collect the woman's account numbers and acquire checks.
The crime went on for a long period of time and drained the Waterford family of thousands of dollars. Had the victim been enrolled in a credit monitoring service, the strange activity in her checking account may have been detected earlier, alerting the woman to contact authorities before it was too late.