Lauderhill man sought in large identity theft scheme

LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are actively searching for a man seen on ATM surveillance video draining another person’s bank account.

Officials said he created an identity crisis by stealing personal information from a complete stranger.

Surveillance video showed a bearded man wearing a dark colored hat and sporting shades as he nonchalantly smoked a cigarette while cashing out.

“It’s actually very uncomfortable and very irritable,” said the victim, who wanted to remain anonymous.

The crook was able to withdraw thousands of dollars from that one ATM, in June.

“He went to one credit union on State Road 7 and withdrew $4,081,” said Lauderhill Police detective Richard Clarke.

According to officials, the man was able to answer security questions, increase credit and ATM withdrawal limits, all without the victim’s consent.

The victim said he still doesn’t know how this crook was able to convince the bank to fulfill his requests.

Clarke believes, based on the man’s behavior, that he has experience and knows what he’s doing.

The cigarette-smoking man spent a whopping eight minutes at one ATM before he was done with his crime.

In total, the crook made off with $10,000 across Broward County.

Clarke offered tips for consumers to make sure their personal information is safe and out of the hands of criminals.

“Secure your mail, ensure that as soon as your mail gets to your home address, collect your mail,” he said. “When you finish with your mail, destroy it as quickly as possible.”

Police will be using the clear surveillance video to help identify and locate the man.

“People work hard for a living, a lot of people are honest, law-abiding citizens, and I think it’s not right that they should be taken advantage of,” said Clarke.

If you have any information on this identity theft, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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