Protect your bank numbers

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, August 12, 2014

By Stephen Hemelt

HAHNVILLE — River Region residents should always be protective when releasing personal information, including bank numbers, whether it’s electronically or giving it to somebody at a local store.

Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said criminals are consistently preying on consumers in an effort to lift their personal information.

It recently cost a local resident close to $2,000.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, LaGrange said, released surveillance photos from several area stores showing a suspect wanted for credit card fraud.

The pictured man has been identified as a person of interest in fraud cases at Toys R us, K-Mart and Game Stop in the Metairie and Kenner areas that totaled $1,931.50.

“We’re not certain where this person lives,” LaGrange said.

“We believe it is somewhere between the River Parishes and Orleans Parish area. We’re getting some calls on it, but it hasn’t really led to anything that has pinpointed exactly where this person may live.”

Anyone with information on the thefts or identity of the man pictured is asked to contact Detective Lance Richards with the Sheriff’s Office at 985-783-1135 or 985-783-6807.

“We know he was able to gain somebody’s information and place that information on a blank card and use it from there,” LaGrange said. “We know that this might be a common practice for people that fraudulently gain people’s identity.

“We just want to say that it is important for people to practice good safety measures by tearing up letters they might receive in the mail with their information, paying close attention to their surroundings when they key in their pin numbers at local stores and be vigilant about that because there are people that are watching.”

LaGrange said theft and fraud are ongoing problems nationwide and few, if any, locations are free from this type of crime.

“This is something that take places all across the nation,” he said. “We want people to be vigilant, not sharing any personal information on the phone or via email because there are people out there that are preying on others.”