Consumer Alert: Authorities catch identity thief in action
Ali Zaher accessed the personal information of victims online.
Surveillance photos show the face of a man who stole personal information from victims and added himself as authorized users to their accounts. His motive was to feed his gambling addiction and ultimately stole thousands from victims.
The surveillance photos are from an ATM and authorities say the photos show an identity thief in action.
Postal inspectors allege Ali Zaher was somehow able to access the personal information of victims online and then took over their accounts by adding himself as an authorized user.
"The suspect will get a credit card in their name, at their house, and they will start making purchases at various stores or ATM's," says Carla Menendez, a U.S. Postal Inspector.
The true account holders have no idea until they examine their bank statements.
Postal inspectors say Zaher was able to access more than 30 accounts with losses of around $30,000.
"He has a gambling issue and that's why, in this case, most of them are ATM transactions," says Menendez. "He just was just wanting the cash to take to the local casinos and see if he could turn it into more cash."
Postal inspectors say it's important to safeguard your personal information.
"The most important thing is to check your credit report each year," says Menendez. "Also, shred don't just throw away your credit card statements or anything like that. Make sure you shred anything that has any information that you wouldn't want anyone else to have."
The suspect in this case faces six counts of ID theft.
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