West Haven police search for identity theft suspects - WFSB 3 Connecticut

West Haven police search for identity theft suspects

Posted: Updated:

West Haven Police Department released surveillance pictures of the suspects believed to be part of interstate identity theft ring.

There are victims in Connecticut, New Jersey, and even as far as South Dakota.

"Those still shots are from actual transactions of people fraudulently using credit cards to make those purchases,” West Haven Police Sgt David Tammaro said.

Tammaro said they are working with eight victims in town. According to police, the crew is somehow getting the personal information of victims and ordering credit cards. The cards were then mailed to an abandoned apartment at a complex on Bull Hill Lane in West Haven.

"So somebody is picking up the credit cards, somebody is distributing them, and that's how they're being used,” Tammaro said.

Police said the identity theft ring racked up $25,000 in fraudulent credit card charges at the Target at the Trumbull Mall, the Walmart in West Haven and the Home Depot in Orange.

Police believe it goes back to October.

"If somebody has all the information to pretend to be you, they can open credit,” Quinnipiac University Chief Information Security Officer Brian Kelly said. “There is not another preventative mechanism there."

Kelly said identity theft is a big business and customers need to be careful when sharing information such as name, address, and social security number.

Kelly explained how to avoid becoming a victim.

"What we're recommending is to go out and get a credit freeze, a little more extreme than credit monitoring, credit alerting,” Kelly said. “The freeze doesn't allow any new credit to be opened in your name, so if you're the victim of cybercrime, it will prevent hackers from opening a new account."

Anyone with information is asked to call the West Haven police Department at 203-937-3900. All calls will be kept confidential.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.