September 09, 2015
Police in Evesham, Burlington County, are crediting an observant UPS driver for derailing an identity theft-credit card scam last week in the township.
The driver contacted police on Sept. 4 about 4:35 p.m. after noticing that he was delivering an unusual number of American Express cards to homes. He also told police he thought his truck was being followed by a suspicious man in an SUV.
Police said they responded to the area of Goldenrod Lane and found the vehicle described by the driver.
The man, Priamo Raphael Lopez-Toro, 40, of Paterson, allegedly gave officers conflicting stories about why he was in the area and why he was following the delivery truck, according to police. A search of the vehicle turned up stolen UPS packages with credit cards addressed to township residents, plus a sheet containing dozens of UPS tracking numbers for deliveries to residents in Evesham, Cherry Hill and Voorhees, police said.
After an investigation, Evesham police allege Lopez-Toro was able to compromise residents' identities as part of a scam to fraudulently order credit cards.
He was charged with four counts of third-degree credit card theft and sent to Burlington County Jail in default of $10,000 full bail.
The investigation remains active, and any residents who think they have been victims of identity theft are asked to contact the Evesham police at (856) 983-1118. Police said they contacted everyone on the tracking number sheet.
Residents should be proactive in protecting their identities. Retired FBI Agent Jeff Lanza offered the following advice:
• Monitor your credit reports. If someone has stolen your identity to open a new account, it should show up as an entry into one or more of the three reporting agencies that keep track of your credit history. All of them – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – monitor your credit, and you’re entitled to one free report per year from each agency. Getting this report will at least give you a snapshot view of the security of your identity. For even more protection, you might consider a credit monitoring service that will alert you when there’s an entry in your credit file.
• If your identity is stolen, or a purse or wallet is lost or stolen, take action immediately. Call any one of the three credit reporting agencies and put a fraud alert on your account. If accounts have already been opened, file a police report immediately and contact each creditor to tell them you’ve been victimized.