Safe from Scams: Victim turns tables on identity thief

Jason Oliveira Image
Friday, August 5, 2016
Safe from Scams: Victim turns tables on identity thief
EMBED <>More Videos

A creative woman used social media to set the perfect trap.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- US Postal Inspectors say it's an inspiring story about a victim who turned the tables on identity thieves. A creative woman used social media to set the perfect trap.

"I found credit cards that I did not apply for in the mailbox," said Sissy Johnson, victim of fraud.

Johnson knew something was wrong-- so she began making calls.

"I went to the credit union and found out that I not only had credit cards, and bank accounts, checking accounts, savings, lines of credit."

The situation was even worse. Her DMV account had been hacked-- she had multiple car loans and even corporations created in her name.

"The person who stole my identity, bailed somebody out of jail twice," said Johnson.

So, when a bail bondsman called asking for money because a suspect didn't appear in court she got an idea.

"I found him on Facebook and then I created a Facebook profile in his name, and then friend requested all his family and friends, and then wrote and posted everything he had done to me," said Johnson.

She quickly got his attention.

"He called me in a panic and saying, 'please take it down, my mom doesn't know, my family doesn't know that I've been to jail,' and all this stuff. And I said, 'who bailed you out of jail?' He said, 'I can't remember.' I said, 'then I can't remember my password.'"

Eventually, she got the names. Kamali Rives and Rashon Bohannon were the ring leaders of multiple fraud and identity theft schemes, with losses of over $2 million dollars. The duo used personal information given to them by a bank employee. Postal inspectors said it would be hard to prevent such fraud, but containing the damage is essential.

"The victims who kept the closest tabs on their checking account, who checked it the most often, those were the ones who were able to minimize the damage," said Nathaniel Sims, US Postal Inspector.

"You lock your doors to your house because you want to keep it secure. Freeze your credit. It takes ten minutes. They're like, 'well it's not convenient. What if I want credit fast.' It's gonna take you 15 minutes to unfreeze your credit. It will take you two years to under what they've done," said Johnson.

If you find yourself the victim in a similar situation always report your case to local police.