Fraud Alert

The :Felony Lane Gang” is back at work…..

Recently, the Fraud Prevention Hotline was alerted that a group of identity thieves focused on bank fraud has been at work in the St. Louis suburbs.  Nicknamed the “Felony Lane Gang,” this crimnal faction has been in operation throughout the United States since 2004.  A similar group, if not the “Felony Lane Gang”  itself, was active in the St. Louis area last summer.  The crooks target vehicles parked at daycares, fitness centers, parks and golf courses-places where it is more likely the drivers will leave their purse or wallet in the car.  Specifically, these thieves are looking for credit cards and checkbooks.  They work during the day when banks are open.

An example of a “Felony Lane Gang” crime could go like this:  After breaking into cars, the gang obtains Mary’s drivers license, Mary’s checkbook and Susan’s checkbook.  One of the group’s members then disguises herself to look like Mary.  Next, she goes to Mary’s bank and uses the farthest drive-thru lane to avoid being seen clearly by employees or surveillance cameras.  The fraudster then cashes one of Susan’s stolen checks, making sure the check draws upon an account in a bank other than Mary’s.  This lessens the chance of being promptly detected.  Later, she goes to Susan’s bank and cashes a check stolen from Mary.

“Felony Lane Gang” members use fake identification to rent cars and move frequently, never staying near the area they hit.  These cons also make purchases with your stolen credit cards and sell them, along with your identification, to other criminals.  The group is comprises of both men and women of various races and ethnicities.  It takes these thieves only seconds to break into your vehicle and disappear, taking your personal and financial information along for the ride.  To avoid being a victim of this crime, simply do not leave your purse or wallet in your car, even if you plan to return shortly.