(NECN: Deanna Morgan) – A Boston man heads to court Friday to face charges in what police are calling a major identity theft ring.
Authorities say it took an extensive undercover operation on their part to this criminal operation down. Technology, they say, helps crime rings like this one evolve quickly.
“In many ways, this case illustrates the new face of crime, one that uses computers as the weapon of choice, one that robs people of their identities and their financial information instead of just their possessions,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The AG described 36-year-old Shahab Yousheei’s crime ring tactics in fine details. She said he had more than one. In one scheme, he’d use stolen or fraudulent identities to open new cell phone accounts, then give the information to runners who would go and obtain smartphones and other electronics at a discount from stores across the state. The runners would bring the electronics back to Yousheei. Then, he’d sell them from his store here in Downtown Crossing.
Yousheei’s other scheme was allegedly stealing people’s identities and credit card numbers.
“He would use those credit cards to purchase merchandise or gift cards and then he would re-sell that merchandise for a profit,” Coakley said.
And, there’s more. Coakley said just hours before Yousheei was arrested, he allegedly accepted and bought thousands of dollars of counterfeit money. This was how he funded his crime operation. Authorities don’t know yet how many victims there are, but they warn:
“This address and this kiosk anyone who had a purchase at that location should certainly check not just their credit card but their credit rate report.”