ID Theft Fraudster Undone by Technology, Teamwork and Timing

Credit Card Fraud

Love stories based on crime, suspense and action? Here’s a true story based on one of our customers. Stung with a $5,000 credit card fraud, Harborstone Credit Union set out to find the suspect with an expansive investigation that involved an online social network of fraud and law enforcement professionals. And not only did Harborstone catch the thief, the investigation led to evidence for a multi-state Fed case involving a million-dollar national ID theft ring. Hooked? Read how Harborstone (using 3VR crime-fighting technology) caught the thief in record time.

Harborstone Credit Union building


February 1, 2012


Harborstone Credit Union Branch


An individual uses a non-Harborstone bank credit card to request a cash advance from teller. Teller calls card issuer for authorization, checks individual’s ID, completes the transaction and provides $5,000 in cash. One week later, Risk Management Officer Tom Southern receives a rejection notice from the credit card company – Harborstone has become a victim of a scam artist. A case file is opened for the investigation. The clock is now ticking to get resolution.

How was this case solved in three distinct steps?

Step 1: Collected Case Data Fast

Gathered clear video of the crime and perpetrator based on transaction date/time/place remotely in 1/6 the normal time to retrieve images.

Step 2: Collaborated with 3,000 security and law enforcement professionals within 24 hours

CrimeDex Harborstone Credit Union SDM Magazine Images of perpetrator were posted on the CrimeDex network of thousands of fraud, loss prevention and law enforcement professionals who collaborate on catching criminals. First call came from a local financial institution security director confirming the perpetrator indeed tried this scam on one of their locations in the same time period.

Step 3: “Collared” the perpetrator

Law enforcement from 800 miles away identifies perpetrator and provides a name and criminal background. Tacoma Police now have the evidence, person of interest and tools to get this criminal off the streets.

Harborstone Credit Union Case Study

Want to know more? Download the Harborstone Credit Union case study here.

Harborstone was also featured in Credit Union Journal and Security Dealer Magazine.

Photo by Patrick Talbert