Key Largo woman charged with fraud
A Key Largo woman was arrested after she was caught stealing and using another woman’s credit card information.
The suspect, 39 year old Michele Moser, works at a Key Largo restaurant that takes on line orders. The victim told Deputy Dave Campbell she placed an order at that restaurant and soon after, someone used her credit card to order pizza for delivery. She contacted the pizza restaurant and was given the address where the pizza was delivered. It was a home on La Paloma Road, where suspect Moser lives.
Deputy Campbell went to the restaurant where Moser works and the manager was cooperative, showing the deputy video of the transaction where the victim called in to make an order. The video shows Moser taking the order. The credit card information is routinely printed out from a printer under the register. The employee who handles the transaction is supposed to process the card for payment, then use a black marker to cover all the credit card information on the receipt. In the video, Moser appears to take a picture of the credit card information. This is one way of acquiring credit card information for fraud purposes.
It is shortly after this happens that the victim’s card is used for the pizza delivery to Moser’s house.
A warrant was obtained for the arrest of Moser. She was picked up on Monday and charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and use or possession of another person’s identification without their consent.
Marathon man arrested for threats, extortion
A Marathon man was arrested after stalking and threatening a Marathon couple.
The suspect, 51 year old Matthew Collins, is a previous employee of the male victim. While working for the victim, he reportedly injured his knee. The victim said he offered to have Collins’ knee looked at afterward. Collins was subsequently terminated from employment with the victim’s business.
The victims said since then, for the past year and a half, Collins has been periodically contacting them; this behavior escalated on January 12th when he called them 12 times in 24 hours. The victims did not answer the calls and instead, let them go to voice mail so they would have a recording of them. They provided these recordings to Deputy Aaron Coller, who investigated the case.
During his calls he makes threats, referring to his knee injury and says he wants them to pay him $5,000 or “he knows where they live.” In one message, he says they can either pay for his knee or pay for their daughter’s knee, saying a knee for a knee is a fair trade. On another call, he made a threat to kill them.
Deputy Coller obtained warrants for the arrest of Collins, who was picked up on February 9th. He was booked into jail charged with aggravated stalking and extortion.
Update on Big Pine Key death investigation
Sheriff’s detectives and the medical examiner’s office are still working to identify a body found in a wooded area on Big Pine Key.
The remains were found by a man and his brother on Saturday; they were in the area to retrieve some belongings left at a homeless camp in the area, which is just past the intersection of 5th Avenue and Chambers Street. The body appears to have been there for some time.
Detectives say they still have not made positive identification of the dead person; they are also working to confirm the sex of the victim, although they say there are some indications the person may be a male. There were some papers found in the vicinity of the body, with some identifying information but they do not know if the papers belonged to the person who died, or were from some other person who has stayed in the vicinity. There were signs of a homeless encampment near where the body was located.
The Medical Examiner’s Office has possession of the body and the investigation is continuing.
Sheriff’s detectives investigating vehicle thefts
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of two personal watercraft, three all-terrain vehicles, a truck, an SUV and three trailers stolen from Upper Keys neighborhoods this month.
The first theft was reported February 1st from a home on Pearl Avenue, Plantation Key. A man called to report he’d been out of town and someone had taken two 2015 Yamaha Wave Runners on a trailer. The trailer was secured by a cable and a large lock prior to the theft taking place. The Wave Runners were black with gold trim.
The rest of the thefts took place between the night of February 9th and the morning of the tenth.
- Two ATVs on a trailer and a white Infinity QX80 SUV were stolen from home on Indian Mound Trail in Tavernier. The ATVs were secured to a pole with a cable and a lock. The cable and lock were found on the ground. The cable had been cut. The victim still had the keys to the Infinity. It is unknown if the vehicle was locked or not.
- A gray 2004 Ford F250 was taken from home on Normandy Drive in Key Largo. The truck was not locked, but the victim has the keys. The truck was recovered the following day in Miami-Dade County in good condition.
- An ATV was stolen from Drury Drive in Key Largo. It was a blue and white 2015 Yamaha on a trailer. The trailer was not stolen. It had been moved and the ATV was removed from it.
- A utility trailer was stolen from Pueblo Street in Tavernier. It was a 2004 Magic Tilt trailer, 6’x14’ single axle with fold down rear gate. It had a black metal frame and old weathered wood.
Marathon woman loses money to scammers
This time of year we always start getting calls about crooks using the name of the IRS to scam money from people.
A Marathon woman called the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday to report being scammed out of $4,200. She said she got a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS saying she owned taxes for the years 2010 to 2015. She was told to purchase a large number of iTunes gift cards and call in the card numbers to the scammer. She was also instructed to do perform three Wells Fargo Money Transfers, which she did.
According to the IRS, they will never call you to demand immediate payment. They won’t call you at all without first sending you a bill in the mail.
They will never require you to pay in a certain way, like requiring payment in prepaid gift cards or Wells Fargo Money Transfers.
They will never ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
They will never threaten to bring police or other law enforcement agencies to arrest you for not paying.
Here is a good source of more information, straight from the IRS:
Key Largo woman falls victim to federal grant scam
A Key Largo woman reported to the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday she fell victim to a scam promising Federal Grant Money.
The victim said she received a Facebook message from a friend telling her how she can apply for Federal Grant Money. She contacted the person in the Facebook post who gave the name of Kelly Boykin. The scammer told her to send $500 to process the application via Western Union.
After she sent the money, Boykin told her she needed more money. This time she was told to send $2,000 via Western Union. After more delays, she was asked to send a further $3,000. She told the scammer she could only afford $1,169, which she then sent via Western Union.
She was alerted to the fact it was a scam when one of the people she spoke with on the phone mentioned the money “clearing customs”. At this point, she called the Sheriff’s Office.
The Federal Trade Commission has more information on-line about such scams. They say:
- Never give out bank account information
- Don’t EVER pay money for a “free” government grant
Note: The reports above are provided by local law enforcement agencies. Please remember that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty.