More than 35 families in the same Miramar neighborhood recently discovered they were victims of identity theft and police are looking for at least three men they believe are running an ID theft ring.
It came to light when some residents of the Monarch Lakes community received messages from Capital One to verify requests for new credit cards that the residents never made, investigators said.
Surveillance video from one of the neighborhood homes showed a car stopping in front of the house, someone getting out of the passenger side and rummaging through the curbside mailbox, and then the person gets back in the car before it drives away slowly.
The suspects appeared to sign up for the U.S. Postal Services’ free Informed Delivery Program, online, to track what mail was going to which home daily so they could steal credit card bills, solicitations, and other mail with personal information, investigators said.
Some residents discovered duplicate driver’s licenses were also ordered in their names, police said.
Detectives are circulating surveillance camera images of three men seen shopping with duplicate credit cards at 7-Eleven, Walmart and Walgreens in Miramar, Pembroke Pines and Miami. The thieves typically use the credit cards to buy gift cards so the cashflow is more difficult to track, police said.
Investigators are asking anyone who may recognize the men in the surveillance photographs to contact Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477 or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. A reward of up to $3,000 can be awarded to anyone with a tip that leads to an arrest.
To guard against identity theft through the mail, authorities suggest signing up for the free Informed Delivery Program to track your mail, take advantage of credit monitoring programs that alert you to suspected fraud, and get a locked mailbox.