Thieves steal woman’s wallet at NC shopping mall, rack up $15K in fraudulent charges

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Surveillance photo from Streets at Southpoint in Durham (WTVD)

DURHAM, N.C. — A woman’s wallet was stolen while she was at the Streets at Southpoint in Durham earlier this month — and within an hour and a half, thieves had already racked up more than $15,000 in charges on her credit cards.

Brenda Mattocks told WTVD that she believes her wallet was stolen right out of her purse while eating lunch at a busy Panera Bread.

“I was unaware that my wallet had been taken until I went to another store, and by that time I started getting calls that fraudulent activity was going on with my account,” Mattocks said.

The wallet was later recovered in a dumpster, but the damage was already done. Her credit cards, bank cards and social security card were all gone.

Mattocks later discovered that close to $4,300 was spent on her cards at the Apple store, and more than $900 were spent at CVS Pharmacy. From there, the thieves hit up a Rite Aid for close to $2,000. Then they went back to CVS for another $950 in charges. Next was $800 dollars at Walmart, then on to Best Buy for more than $2,500, before spending a similar amount at Target. They also charged more than $900 at Walgreens.

There are surveillance images that show at least one suspect, described as possibly Hispanic, with long dark hair, wearing a black and white outfit.

Mattocks says she’s baffled about how the woman could have used her cards since they look nothing alike.

“I had a State Credit Union card with my picture on it, and that card was used,” Mattocks said. “And what amazed me the most is that my ID or an ID was never checked and they could get away with that many charges.”

According to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, clerks don’t have to ask for your ID, even if you mark that request on the front of your card.

Cooper suggests regularly checking your accounts online, checking your credit report several times a year, and putting on a security freeze.

The crime should be immediately reported to police, and you should contact your credit card company or bank and cancel any stolen cards. If your identity has been stolen, contact the AG’s office at 877-5NO-SCAM.

Mattocks says she has stopped carrying her social security card and so many credit cards and says she is also trading in her purse for one with a zipper, one she will hold close to her side.

Read more: WTVD