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Consumer Alert: Beware of thieves looking to steal credit card information


He was the man behind an identity theft scheme. Hundreds of credit cards were found in his home. A large number of victims were hurt by this crime.

"I went to apply for a couple of credit cards and got declined," says victim John Becker.

Becker called his bank and found out someone had racked up more then $12,000 in charges on one credit card.

"I said 'why would you give me $12,000 worth of credit' and they said things started getting charged so fast that they ran up a $12-13,000 dollar limit before the credit card company even realized what was going on," Becker says.

Dennis Sergeev is the man responsible. He stole the identities of more than 50 people and racked up $40,000 in losses.

"He was active online... claims he received the stolen identities online. That is what he lived off of. That was his only income," says U.S. Postal Inspector Blance Alvarez.

After finding hundreds of fraudulent credit cards in a P.O. Box owned by Segreev, postal inspectors arrested him.

"When we interviewed this defendant at his home, he confessed and compared himself to Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me if you Can," says Alvarez.

In the move, DiCaprio depicts a con artists who is always one step ahead of authorities.

"But instead of having flight attendants escorting him out, he had female postal inspectors escorting him to jail," says Alvarez.

When inspectors searched Segreev's home, they say they found stolen credit cards hidden all through the house. They also found stereos, cameras, television, phones and cash.

No matter how old you are, check your credit at least once a year to make sure your identity hasn't been stolen.

"Teenagers will take a picture of their driver's license and put it on their FB page because they are proud. They don't realize they are giving up their DOB, their address, their name, which is very important. Identity thieves scour the Internet looking for this information," says Alvarez.

"Luckily, not a lot of damage was done that would affect me," says Becker. "At that time I wasn't going for a house or I wasn't going for a car loan or anything of importance."


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