BOISE, Idaho — Two Chicago, Illinois men have been booked into the Ada County Jail on multiple felony grand theft and forgery charges.
The arrests stem from an investigation that began earlier this month when Boise Police and a local credit union began receiving reports of an ongoing fraud “into the theft of tens of thousands of dollars from local victims,” according to BPD spokesperson Haley Williams.
“In each case, the victim was contacted via social media by a suspect promising them grant money or some other financial return,” said Williams. “The victims were persuaded to give their physical debit card and PIN (personal identification number) code to a male who promised to deposit the money into their account. The suspects then deposited fraudulent checks into the victims’ accounts and used the victims’ cards to make fraudulent withdrawals. They also used the victim’s cards to make additional purchases.”
Detectives were able to identify the suspects via surveillance pictures.
On April 8th, Boise Police officers contacted the suspects as they prepared to fly out of the Boise Airport, Williams said.
They arrested Derek Claytor and Jontiez Brooks, both 27. They are charged with grand theft, forgery, and acquiring financial transaction cards with the intent to defraud. All are felonies.
Police say we need to be cautious of “friends” posting ways to make money. Scams like this often start with a “friends” social media account being compromised. The victim then receives a money-making offer from their “friend” which turns out to be a scam, Williams said.
Also, remember: don’t give out account information, whether a bank account or a social media account to anyone.
And verify the opportunity or situation outside the app or the initial offer. Call the business or government agency involved directly. Don’t use the provided number.
(photos courtesy: Ada County Jail)