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Local News

April 4, 2014

Boxford police use IP address to make credit card fraud arrest

(Continued)

Police drove by the Plaistow address and spotted a vehicle that matched the description of the one in the video surveillance. Police were able to obtain a search warrant in New Hampshire. They also sent pictures of the suspect to an email list of detectives.

“Westford called and said, ‘gee, we had an ATM scam,’” Hazelwood said. Descriptions given in this string of ATM thefts matched the ones Boxford police gave. Hazelwood said there could be many more victims in other communities of the same scam, which involves the suspect ordering a credit card in the victim’s name, then stealing it from the victim’s mail by waiting outside the house for it to be delivered.

Often, the suspect simply withdrew the daily maximum amount of cash allowed for the card from an ATM. In the Westford case, someone withdrew $300 a day for approximately 10 days.

The investigation is still ongoing, and police are examining the contents of a laptop found in the bedroom where Sek was living. When police recovered the laptop, they also found a sheet of paper on top which turned out to be an application for a credit card with a limit of $20,000 in the name of a North Reading resident, Hazelwood said.

Police do not know how Sek allegedly obtained certain personal information, such as Social Security numbers and mother’s maiden names, used to open the cards.

When asked if Sek has a record of credit card fraud elsewhere, Hazelwood said “Florida and here.” Three of the four charges Sek faces are felonies, Hazelwood said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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