Local merchants, beware identity thieves

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2007

I am writing to inform the residents (both consumers and vendors) about a crime that was recently committed against my mother, a Juneau resident. Her credit card number (not her card) was somehow acquired and then used online and at about eight Juneau stores and two hotels for merchandise and lodging totaling almost $11,000. This person has been caught and is presently in jail. But over the course of one month, this criminal was able to use my mother's name and a credit card number written on a piece of paper to make large purchases in your community without showing proof of any identification or an actual credit card.

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These transactions occurred at major stores that are used daily by Juneau residents and all amounts were for hundreds of dollars. In our current society, where identity fraud is such a concern, I am astounded that there is not better verification (or any at all) at the time of purchase by store cashiers. Vendors please provide your staff with sufficient training, and consumers should be aware of the risk.

J.M. Oppenheimer

Los Angeles

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