Tracking down an ID theft suspect

Wednesday, January 12th 2005, 1:48 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man is fuming after someone used his name and social security number to get credit cards and go on a very expensive shopping spree.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Ray Bilderaya recently received a bill from the Zales Jewelry store in Joplin, Missouri.

When he saw it was for $4,600, he nearly had a stroke. "I asked my wife what'd you buy me and she said what are you talking about. Then, my heart started pounding and my eyes watered and I almost went off."

That was just the beginning. Ray got a bill from the Joplin's JC Penney’s for $1895 and one from their Lowe's for nearly $500. He also got notices from the Joplin Sears, Radio Shack and Home Depot that he'd applied for credit cards at those stores too. The next bill was the biggie. $7,279.92 at the Lowe's in Muskogee.

Surveillance video from the store shows 4 men with 12 baskets filled with merchandise. "It's scary. I don't do the Internet, I'm conservative. I think they just wanted to have a Christmas like they've never had and they did it to the wrong person." Police hope something about the men's clothing or body type will give them away.

Even though the stores are out the money, not Ray, he still takes this quite personally. Ray says he will do whatever it takes to help prosecute these men so they won't cash in on anyone else's good name and credit.

If you've been the victim of identity theft, you need to contact one of the three credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your account, file a police report, then send an affidavit to the creditors. You can find more information at the Federal Trade Commission's website.