Re: Catalina Conservancy Credit Card Scam

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on March 19, 2008 at 14:12:34:

In Reply to: Catalina Conservancy Credit Card Scam posted by BENTMAN on March 19, 2008 at 09:07:53:

Suspect: Trevor Graham Hammonds, Male White, 36 years old, Newport Beach Resident

On February 13, 2008, Newport Beach Police Detectives arrested Trevor Hammonds for 484G PC – Illegal Use of a Credit Card. Detectives had learned that Hammonds was renting an apartment in Newport Beach through fraudulent means. He was paying his rent by providing valid credit card account numbers of unsuspecting victims as payment. Since his arrest, Detectives have been attempting to discover where and how Hammonds obtained his victim’s personal credit information.

Detectives recently discovered that Hammonds had created a website for the “Catalina Conservancy Divers” Avalon Harbor Cleanup, Catalina Island Conservancy in 2005. Through 2005 and 2006, Hammonds was able to obtain unsuspecting victim’s names and credit card numbers when they made online donations to the Conservancy. Since that time, he has been using victim’s names and valid credit card account information to make online purchases and pay for personal items. Detectives have identified a total of 816 possible victim credit profiles in the possession of Hammonds. Hammonds is currently being housed at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. The Catalina Conservancy Divers is a victim of Hammonds scheme and is not involved in any manner.

If you registered to this site and/or made an online donation to the Catalina Conservancy Divers during 2005 or 2006, please check your credit profile and account records. If you believe you have been the victim of a crime, please notify your bank immediately to close your account(s) and prevent any further crimes from occurring. In addition, contact the Newport Beach Police Department in order to report your crime. This can be done by contacting Investigator Bob Watts at (800) 550-NBPD or (949) 644-3799.

For information in regards to identity theft and associated crimes, you can go to the Police Department’s web site at Newport Beach Police Department - Homepage. You may also place a “Fraud” alert on your personal credit report by contacting one of the three major credit reporting agencies listed below:

Equifax Equifax: Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Protection Against Identity Theft

Fraud Alert (800) 525-6285
Credit Report (800) 685-1111
Experian Experian | Free Credit Report and Credit Score

Fraud Alert (888) 397-3742
Credit Report (800) 360-7540
Trans Union TransUnion - Credit Score & Online Credit Reports

Fraud Alert (800) 680-7289
Credit Report (800) 888-4213

Kathy Kempton wrote this on the O.C. board;

Thanks, Debbie, for the info.

According to NBPD, he hit my Amex with an $8500 charge for an apartment rental in Irvine on 12/21/07. I was taking an environmental prosecution final in Portland, OR, that day and was pretty sure I hadn't rented an apartment in Irvine. I saw the charge online within a few days and contacted Amex and the apartment complex early and often, but the follow-up was slow. Apparently because someone had made a photocopied mock-up of an Amex card bearing my name and had forged my signature purporting to be the suspect's manager at high-end sportcar maker Tesla Motors (whose general counsel has never heard of Trevor Hammonds), the matter remained in limbo for some 6 weeks. Amex closed their initial investigation with the explanation that there was proper documentation of the charges.

Upon escalation, the Newport PD, on the other hand, were awesome - they went right out and found the fellow apparently still enjoying the apartment. I would have said that that was not the brightest criminal plan ever, except for the fact that it worked for 6 weeks. Amex eventually acknowleged the fraud, but I'm still a little bitter that for that kind of dough Trevor (or whoever) must have had a nicer place than my grad school pad!

I'm glad to learn how the number was compromised, and I urge everyone, please, to check their own credit card records.

Kathy Kempton

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