Sophisticated credit card theft scheme hits Atlantic Beach; two suspects arrested

Alvaro Acosta and Obed Cardoza, from Miami, have both been arrested in Atlantic Beach.

Police said the duo opened up credit cards in other homeowners’ names and then tracked the delivery truck and swiped the packages from their front doors.

“People are getting more and more sophisticated with these scams,” neighbor Tim McGill said.

The pair then went to three different Best Buy locations and police said they purchased $11,000 worth of items. When the homeowner was notified of potential fraud by the credit card company, the victim told the company that a credit card had never been opened.

“You’ve got to be on guard constantly,” neighbor Cathy Espinosa said.

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Police then staked out the area and saw that the men were following the delivery truck.

When police stopped their vehicle, they found other credit cards, under other names, in the vehicle.

Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said that, with the recent credit reporting agency hacks, information such as Social Security numbers, is readily available.

“There is a process on the dark web where you can buy someone’s Social Security number,” Carson said. He believes there could be several other victims in our area and more suspects.

“What they are doing is fairly sophisticated and that argues that it’s orchestrated and there are more than two people involved,” Carson said.

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Another victim of identity theft filed a report with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and a credit card with his name on it was also found in the suspects’ vehicle.

“Everyone needs to be vigilant with their online stuff and their mail,” McGill said.

Carson also said that suspects usually hop around to different cities doing this same crime, and the easiest way to protect yourself is to get a credit freeze. Once that is in place, no one can get access to your credit file unless you lift the freeze.

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“If you froze it you are given a code and you have to give back that code to lift it,” Carson said.