Local authorities across the country are focusing on busting identity theft and stolen credit card rings that have been racking up thousands of dollars in damages and affecting hundreds of victims.
Seven arrested for alleged New Jersey ID theft ring
Police in New Jersey have arrested seven people for their alleged roles in a $500,000 credit card fraud and identity theft ring, according to MyCentralNewJersey.com.
Authorities say the group obtained government-issued documents from people with dual Indian and U.S. citizenship, and then several of the defendants allegedly used these documents to obtain fraudulent driver's licenses. The defendants are accused of opening credit accounts with the bogus IDs and making high-end purchases.
Investigators froze about $540,000 in cash and say they found more than 250 drivers licenses and credit cards along with $75,000 in merchandise at the defendants' properties.
Minnesota police uncover identity theft ring
At least 36 people have been hit by an identity theft ring discovered by the Minneapolis Police, CBS Minnesota reports.
Police say they suspected there was an identity theft ring when the client of a personal care assistant reported her credit card was being used for fraudulent purchases. Surveillance photos from one store allegedly identified the woman's personal care assistant and a male friend. Search warrants uncovered more stolen charge cards, checks and victim IDs.
Neither suspect has been charged and the investigation is ongoing. However, police believe there are more victims than those discovered so far.
Suspected Sacramento fraudsters charged
Seven in Sacramento were charged for their alleged role in a national mail fraud and identity theft scheme, according to CBS Sacramento.
Investigators have found more than 2,000 victims, including a nonprofit that helps disabled children. A search of the suspects' homes uncovered counterfeiting and identity theft tools of the trade and a spreadsheet of stolen retail credit card numbers.
If convicted, the suspects face five to fifteen years in prison.
Mississippi police investigating stolen credit card scheme
Police in New Albany have zeroed in on suspects they believe are operating a stolen credit card and identity theft ring, the New Albany Gazette reports.
Zhang Yongdi, Jixian Zhu, Hai Ping Chi, Qin Li, Dong Lin and Xiaoran Liu are accused of stealing at least 50 different credit cards and obtaining thousands of dollars in gift cards.
Local authorities say the Secret Service and US Attorney are interested in the case.