ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Three women are linked to an identity theft scam in St Petersburg. At least 18 people had their credit card information stolen during the year-long scheme.
St Petersburg police said Isabelle Denise Dallas, 51, worked for a magazine company in Pinellas County. When people subscribed over the phone, Dallas would take their credit card information and pass it along to her daughter, 32-year-old Jessica Danielle Dallas.
"We found 18 different credit cards either used or attempted to be used since November of last year," said Sgt. Kevin Smith with St Petersburg police, who first began investigating the Dallas family after an identity theft complaint in Gulf Port was linked to their home address.
Smith found that Jessica Dallas opened a Duke Energy account turned on city water and cable at her home all with stolen credit card information.
"She actually used one of the credit cards several times to put some money on a commissary account for her boyfriend, who was in custody at the time in the Pinellas County Jail," said Smith.
Most of Dallas' victims were out of state. At some point, her friend, Chantelle Jones, 37, got involved in the scam, according to police. Jones was captured on surveillance cameras shopping with fraudulent credit cards at local CVS, WaWa and Winn Dixie stores. Jones purchased $4,328 worth of furniture from Aaron's Rentals as well.
Police said they are working to determine how Jones was able to create at least four fake bank accounts and get ahold of her victims' social security numbers. Both Jones and Jessica Dallas were arrested and charged with scheming to defraud and fraudulent use of personal identification information. Jones had two outstanding warrants as well.
St. Petersburg police are still searching for Isabelle Dallas. They said the credit card scheme should serve as a reminder to citizens to keep a close eye on their credit reports to catch identity theft as soon as possible.
"Once a year you need to run that credit history on yourself. It's a free report. Look for any inquiries that you're not familiar with, but more importantly, look for accounts that were open. An open account you didn't open obviously means fraud has occurred," said Sgt. Smith.
Anyone with information on Isabelle Dallas' whereabouts is asked to contact the St Petersburg Police Department.