If you are or previously were a patient at Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic in Maricopa County, Arizona, check your credit card statements because you may be a victim of identity theft.
Earlier this month, authorities arrested a couple, Brittany Davidson and Winfred Aurelious Dick Jr., for stealing the credit card information of more than 40,000 people. The two suspects are accused of raiding patient records to steal the credit card information for thousands of patients to an Arizona health clinic, Scottsdale Dermatology.
Let’s take a look at this case and see how these alleged scammers stole the patients’ private information, and how you can protect yourself from fraud and identity theft if your information leaks:
Stealing Private Patient Records for Credit Card Numbers
While the theft of 40,000 patients’ credit card information may seem like a cunning criminal operation, it wasn’t actually very complex.
The suspected scammers simply patient records from Davidson’s employer. The woman worked for a firm that processed the Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic’s patient bills.
According to Fox Phoenix:
“…Davidson had been stealing credit card information from her employer, a medical billing firm that services Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic.
According to deputies, up to 46,000 patients are at risk of being victims of the scheme.”
Detectives are still investigating the case and haven’t determined how many people were actually victimized by the thieving couple. It could have been as many as 46,000 patients that have had their financial records accessed.
Tipping off the Cops: Don’t Scam a Local Sheriff
Davidson and her accomplice were caught after they used the credit card number belonging to a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department employee to pay for a traffic ticket.
When Dick used stolen credit card information to pay off one of his traffic tickets, the police smelled a scam. They something wasn’t right because Dick had actually used the stolen credit card information belonging to a Captain in the Sheriff’s Department.
Once the captain noticed that fraudulent charges had been made on his card, authorities obtained a search warrant and linked the fraud back to Davidson and Dick.
Once police were in the couple’s living place, they were easily able to find a ton of evidence that linked them to the crimes. The two criminals had been using the stolen credit card information to pay for everything from car repairs to fast food. They also found meth in Dick’s vehicle.
Protect Your Finances from Fraud
If you think you might be a victim of credit card fraud, the best thing to do is check your transaction history on the regular. Pay attention to any and all purchases that get made with your credit and/or debit cards, and always call your bank or credit card company if you notice a purchase or charge that you don’t remember authorizing.
Similarly, if you are actually a patient of the Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic in Arizona and you think you might have noticed a fraudulent charge on your credit card in between Jan. 1st of 2013 and now, you’re encouraged to call the sheriff’s department at (602) 876-1011. You should also contact Experian, Equifax or TransUnion to place an active fraud alert on your credit report.
What do you think of this story? Have you ever been the victim of credit card fraud? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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