I-Team: NY Woman's Identity Stolen, Bank Account Raided by Multiple Thieves in 4 Days - NBC New York
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I-Team: NY Woman's Identity Stolen, Bank Account Raided by Multiple Thieves in 4 Days

"I feel very violated that somebody came into my community, impersonated me and stole my money"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    I-Team: Bank Customer Identity Theft

    A local woman has raised the alarm about alleged incidents of identity theft in a major banking chain — falling victim more than once in a four-day period. I-Team's Sarah Wallace has the exclusive.

    (Published Friday, Dec. 21, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A New York woman was astonished to learn thieves tried to or did withdraw money from her TD Bank account at five different banks in 4 days

    • Clarkstown police say they believe her identity was sold to organization or some sort of ring, who takes her information and makes fake IDs

    • TD Bank says it investigates fraud complaints and works with law enforcement in such cases

    When her her bank card was denied at a supermarket in Pearl River, New York, Robin Hurtado learned that she was the victim of bank fraud, with the nightmare having started at a nearby TD Bank in Nanuet.

    "Some person walked into this TD Bank presenting a fake driver’s license with a fake driver’s license number on it, with their picture and information," said Hurtado. "They also had my social security number and was able to get my account number and take my money." 

    "The bank could have simply checked the driver’s license numbers," said Hurtado. 'They would have seen that it was not a match right there. They didn’t bother to check that."

    The thief got away with $2,500 from Hurtado’s checking account and $4,500 from her savings.

    But it didn’t just happen once. Hurtado says in a four-day period, different suspects either succeeded or attempted to withdraw her money from five different TD Banks -- two in Rockland County, one in Bergen County, New Jersey, and two in New York City. 

    It happened even after enhanced security measures were put in place.

    "They set up layers of security after the initial theft, which was a fraud alert," Hurtado said. "We shut down all our old accounts and set up new ones. We put in an extra password and made sure they asked for two forms of ID." 

    Four days later, a thief walked into a TD bank in Midtown, Manhattan, and withdrew $700 from Hurtado’s account.

    "They still didn’t protect me. They let someone walk in and take more money from me," she said.

    The crime spree continued with an attempt later that day at a TD Bank in the West Village. That one was thwarted when an alert teller, who realized the ID was phony, called police.

    They charged a 43-year-old woman with an Arizona address with identity theft. 

    Clarkstown police released photos to the I-Team of the Nanuet suspect, saying she is not the same person who was arrested in the West Village.

    "We believe what’s happening is that your identity is being put out there—it’s being sold to an organization or some sort of ring. They’re then taking your information and making false identification and going into banks." 

    TD Bank declined to release any surveillance video to the I-Team and said it can’t comment on specific cases. In a statement, a company spokesman added: "TD Bank investigates fraud complaints and works with law enforcement in such cases to determine the facts and take appropriate action. TD Bank utilizes industry best practices in an effort to safeguard customer accounts." 

    TD Bank did reimburse Hurtado but she says that’s not enough, and has changed banks. She also wants to warn others to check their bank activity daily, especially this time of the year. 

    "I would never have known if I hadn’t bought those groceries," she said. "My entire accounts could have been wiped out in a matter of days."

    Hurtado said, "I feel very violated that somebody came into my community where I work, where I live. That somebody walked into these locations and impersonated me and stole my money."

    The suspect in the West Village attempt is due back in court in January. NYPD Detectives and Clarkstown detectives say their investigations are ongoing.

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