I wrote a couple weeks ago about Dave Lieber, the Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram ID theft watchdog whose identity was stolen. A few weeks before that I wrote about the Best Buy Bandits, a gang of identity thieves who stole credit cards and driver’s licenses from gym lockers, raced to Best Buy to buy computers and cameras, and then immediately sold the stuff on eBay.
Now, there's an interesting amalgam of those stories. David Lazarus, the LA Times consumer columnist whose driver’s license, credit cards and cash were stolen from his gym locker last weekend while he worked out. Lazarus discovered the theft almost immediately, but
Within minutes the thief had used his MasterCard to buy $432.99 worth of stuff at Toys R Us (nice to know the kiddies come first). Then it was onto Best Buy for the purchase of a nifty $1,350.80 Apple laptop on Lazarus’s American Express card.
Then a second Toys-R-Us stop (different store) where the thief used the stolen Bank of America card to spend another $497.98 on the kids.
Then back to Best Buy (the same store) where he picked up a Canon digital camera for $1298.97—maybe to take pictures of the delighted kids when they get their $900 worth of toys. The security camera there got a picture of the culprit, a large, athletically built white man.
The whirlwind shopping spree came to an abrupt halt when the thief tried to make a $575.40 purchase at Target; all three cards were denied because of the rapidity with which so many high-dollar purchases had been made.