WAYNE, NJ – The Wayne police department has announced the arrest of a suspect in the defrauding of a Wayne resident of his social security benefits.
“On March 15, the victim reported to the Wayne Police Department that his credit card, which is only used to obtain and spend his Social Security benefits, was used to purchase electronics and food,” said Wayne Police Detective Captain, Dan Daly.
These charges were not made nor approved by the victim. Unfortunately, this was not the only crime. Daly also reported that the suspect had withdrawn all the victim’s social security funds currently on the card, leaving the victim without the funds for his own daily needs.
After hearing of the victim’s plight, Wayne Police Detectives began an investigation that led them to 20-year-old Anthony Belizaca of Elizabeth, NJ.
“It was learned that Mr. Belizaca likely obtained the victim’s benefit card information from a business where Mr. Belizaca was formerly employed,” explained Daly.
Following the investigation, Belizaca was charged by the Wayne Police with various crimes including credit card theft, credit card fraud, theft by deception and wrongful impersonation.
The suspect surrendered himself to the Wayne Police on April 4 and was held in the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing, according to Daly.
Unfortunately for the victim, his social security benefits for the month were depleted and at this point are likely not recoverable. The charges against Mr. Belizaca are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The FBI’s website provides the following tips to help prevent credit card fraud.
Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud:
- Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site but provides some assurance.
- Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
- Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses.
- Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.
- Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.
- Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
- Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
- Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
- Check out other websites regarding this person/company.
- Don’t judge a person or company by their website; flashy websites can be set up quickly.
- Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
- If possible, purchase items online using your credit card. You can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
- Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.
- Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious, or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.