MANCHESTER, NH — Manchester Police seek the public’s help in identifying two dapper men who entered the Apple Store at the Mall of NH and used stolen credit cards to rack up thousands in merchandise purchases.
The men, both wearing blue blazers, used credit cards that were inside a wallet reported stolen from a locker at Planet Fitness on Huse Road on Nov. 18 to make the purchases, police said.
Soon after the theft, the victim learned of numerous fraudulent charges made at the Apple Store in the Mall of NH, as well as Macy’s, and Victoria’s Secret. In all, more than $11,000 was spent on the day the credit cards were stolen. If you have any information about who these two may be, please call Detective Shaun McKennedy at 603-792-5507.
It’s Identify Theft Awareness Month – do you know how to keep your information secure?
December is designated as Identity Theft Protection and Awareness Month, as it’s the biggest retail shopping month of all. Below are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission everyone should be aware of, and a link to the NH Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau.
What is credit card fraud?
Credit card theft is the most obvious form of credit card fraud, and can happen in a variety of ways, from physically stolen cards and low-tech dumpster diving to high-tech hacking. A thief might go through the trash to find discarded billing statements and then use your account information to buy things. A retail or bank website might get hacked, and your card number could be stolen and shared. Perhaps a dishonest clerk or waiter takes a photo of your credit card and uses your account to buy items or create another account. Or maybe you get a call offering a free trip or discounted travel package. But to be eligible, you have to join a club and give your account number, say, to guarantee your place. The next thing you know, charges you didn’t make are on your bill, and the trip promoters who called you are nowhere to be found.
Incorporating a few practices into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe. For example, keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates and the phone number to report fraud for each company in a secure place. Don’t lend your card to anyone — even your kids or roommates — and don’t leave your cards, receipts, or statements around your home or office. When you no longer need them, shred them before throwing them away.
Other fraud protection practices include:
- Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse. And carry only the card you need for that outing.
- During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.
- Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
- Open your bills promptly — or check them online often — and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made.
- Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.
- Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you will be traveling.
- Don’t write your account number on the outside of an envelope.
- Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
- Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn’t show up when you expect it, look into it.
- Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.
- Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
- You can get an annual credit report for free. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228. Or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
For help in New Hampshire, contact the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Bureau for Identity Theft at 603-271-3658. Click here for more information on how to check your credit history and other resources.