Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw discovered in March that he was a victim of identity theft when charges on his American Express were declined. According to the Washington Post:
Saslaw said he was alerted to a problem with his American Express credit card in March and quickly reported it to Virginia State Police. Virginia authorities reported it to the California State Highway Patrol, which is now searching for two suspects in the Sacramento area in connection with the theft. Saslaw said the suspects reached out to multiple banks and credit card companies in an effort to get new cards in his name. “They were persistent,” he said.
Saslaw praised the Virginia and California authorities and said reaching out to police was the right thing to do when he realized he’d been the victim of identity theft. “They were really very efficient,” he said.
Saslaw theorized that his number was skimmed while he ate at a Northern Virginia restaurant
News10 out of Sacremento had the following:
Saslaw said the same thing happened to two other lawmakers in the Virginia legislature and he believes information on the magnetic stripes of their credit cards was stolen in a process known as “skimming” while they dined together at a restaurant.
Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force commander Capt. Jim Cooper said investigators were searching for two suspects they say changed Saslaw’s home address in Virginia to an apartment on Fulton Avenue in Sacramento. Investigators believe Bernell Bryan Washington, 24, and Sky Manriquez, 21, are staying with friends or relatives in the Fresno area.
I expect that American Express was all over this one. I had a card stolen in a restaurant. I alerted Am Ex and their fraud department was all over the case within minutes of the report. I had had unauthorized purchases made also and I knew where I had been when the card was taken. I have had 2 other unauthorized uses of credit cards. American Express was the most professional in handling the situation. People need to be on continual look out for unauthorized charges.
Fortunately, gas was bought with my card and not medical marijuana. The right wing blogs have already started having a field day with Saslaw’s identity theft, mainly because he is a left leaning Democrat. Too bad this can’t be a teachable moment about identity theft and how to handle it. Instead it is being used by some as a ‘gotcha moment.’ Shame on those who cannot transcend politics when the situation is obvious.