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Facebook posts lead feds to Brazilian fraud suspect

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Updated: 11/16/2013 7:50 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) -- A Brazilian man is facing federal charges after authorities said he came to Florida to steal credit card owners' information. Detectives are crediting social media with helping them track down the suspect.

By the looks of Marllon Silva's Facebook profile, he was on a fantasy vacation in Florida with stops at South Beach nightclubs and a Tampa casino.

But the Brazilian man's luck ran out in Orlando in mid-October. Federal agents said Silva was actually on a business trip.

According to a federal indictment, Silva and a female companion were in Florida to steal credit card owners' information and bring it back to Brazil.

"It's new. They're coming to the U.S. to do that. It's super easy to use a credit card here, easier than in Brazil," Brazilian Karina Schneider said.

After receiving a tip, the Secret Service tracked the couple's every move using social media. Investigators said Silva "checked in" and uploaded pictures to Facebook at multiple locations in Orlando, including a Brazilian restaurant on International Drive and a Hooters on Kirkman Road.

Authorities moved in and arrested Silva at Orlando International Airport, just as the pair was about to leave town.

According to court documents, agents found counterfeiting equipment and victims' credit card information in his suitcase."

Law enforcement officials said more criminal cases are being cracked with the help of social media.

"It's now routine for detectives to monitor social media for anything that might help them solve their case," Capt. James Pogue said.

Silva is being held at the Seminole County jail on several federal charges. The woman with Silva has not been arrested and authorities are investigating her level of involvement.
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