Weslaco Police Investigating Furniture Fraudulent Purchases

6 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Friday, April 14 2017 Apr 14, 2017 April 14, 2017 6:19 PM April 14, 2017 in News

WESLACO – The Weslaco Police Department is investigating an identity theft case where two people allegedly bought thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture using someone else’s credit information.

Weslaco Police Officer Eric Hernandez said a man and a woman walked into Max Fine Furniture last month and bought furniture using someone else’s name. Investigators said the man didn’t have a valid ID.

The man gave the sales rep a photo copy, which turned out to be a fake. The name and date of birth used were legitimate though.

“The number one thing is having a valid government ID,” David Estes, the executive officer and general manager of Lacks Valley stores, said.

He said his stores have protocols in place to ensure something like what happened in Weslaco doesn’t happen.

“In the particular case that you’re referring to the concern is if the company is taking an ID without a photo, not a government ID, then really the buyer should beware because if they’re allowing this to happen then somebody could be bringing in your personal info and applying for credit that way,” Estes said.

His staff is well trained for things of this nature.

“Make sure that they’re following these processes because if they’re not then somebody could be taking your credit, your personal information and filing for credit in your name,” Estes said.

A nearly 90-year-old local woman said she always gets fraudulent calls but manages to keep her information safe. But after hearing about what happened at the furniture store, Lulu Bruner knew something was wrong and someone may not have kept their information close.

Bruner said she’s always very careful with her information. She said when she received suspicious calls, she just hangs up.

“I’d won $5 million dollars from Publishers Clearing House. And I said ‘You’re crazy.’ And I’d hung up,” she said.

Bruner said people should be like her to keep their identity safe.

“I’m very finicky about certain things,” she said.

It’s kept her information safe, Bruner added.

Weslaco police said the two suspects took off together in an older model, black Ford F-150 STX extended cab model. Anyone with information can contact Weslaco Crime Stoppers at 968-8477.

Ways to Keep Identity Safe:

  • Don’t just throw away old billing statements and other documents containing important information. They should be shredded.
  • Make sure passwords are strong for online banking services, electronic bill paying and other financial accounts.
  • Regularly check credit reports. The sooner you find out you’re an ID theft victim, the easier it will be to repair the damage. 

Annette C. Wilson, the director of public relations/spoksperson for Max Fine Furniture, sent CHANNEL 5 NEWS the following statement:

Max Fine Furniture does have specific protocol for all credit applications.  In reference to the one incident noted on channel 5 a few news worthy facts went omitted:  A Texas temporary identification NOT a photo copy was presented.  All other references sources were accurate.  Further investigation from another employee noted that the customer demonstrated uneasiness, the employee’s quick thinking and further investigation lead to filing of the police report. Max Fine Furniture is committed to the community and serving our customers with the upmost confidence.   

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