Texas Officers Arrest Two Mexican Citizens for Fake Credit Cards and Identity Theft Related to Target Breach
On Monday, January 20th, two Mexican citizens attempting to re-enter the US were arrested at the South Texas border for identity theft in connection with the Target hack attack over the Christmas season.
Reportedly, Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, and Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, had used credit cards that had been cloned from stolen credit card information of South Texas Target shoppers. Authorities at the border found the pair with 96 spoofed credit cards underneath their clothes. The cards had been used to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise at national retailers in the area, including Best Buy, Walmart, and Toys R Us, before the pair returned to Mexico.
However, a federal official stated that there was currently no connection between the two arrests and the Target data breach, which contradicts statements made by McAllen, TX Police Chief Victor Rodriguez regarding the case.
Garcia and Guardiola are currently being held on state-level identity theft fraud charges. Rodriguez said that the pair will eventually face federal identity theft charges.
McAllen area police began working with Secret Service agents after several retailers in the area were hit with fraudulent purchases on January 12th. The Secret Service confirmed that the Texas fraudulent purchases were related to the credit card and identity theft Target breach from December.
Using hours of surveillance footage, Rodriguez said investigators were able to identity a car containing the two suspects, which had Mexican license plates. They tracked the vehicle’s entrance into Texas and return to Mexico, then waited for a week before the suspects attempted to return to the US.
‘‘They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,’’ Rodriguez said in relation to the South Texas customer information being used in South Texas.
Is Your Identity Protected?
Identity theft has become the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
According to statistics from federal officials, one in every twenty Americans will fall victim to this crime. The only way to prevent this from happening is by reducing the risk that such a crime will affect you. Identity theft can ruin your name and your credit through erroneous charges and purchases, and even through the obtainment of loans that you neither applied for nor received funds from.
If you think that you have been a victim of identity theft, you should:
- File a police report immediately. This is important as this is evidence to be presented to creditors to claim your rights as a victim of identity theft.
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission as this informs law enforcement officials throughout the United States of the pending investigation.
- Register Fraud Alert on your credit reports. This can inform credit reporting services of anomalous activity on your credit for ninety (90) days.
Identity Theft Through Hack Attacks Can Hurt Your Future
If you have experienced identity theft, whether from a hack attack or robbery, you are not alone. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help clear your name and even reinstate your social security benefits. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800