Belmont Police Log, March 24-30, 2023: Reports of identity fraud, hacking and larceny

The following are excerpts from the Belmont Police log as made available by the Belmont Police Department. The log is public and available for review. All persons are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

March 24

3:04 p.m.: Officers spoke to an Acorn Park Drive resident who reported fraud. His identity was recently stolen. On March 22, he received a letter in the mail stating he was receiving a new Bloomingdale’s credit card. However, he never applied for the credit card and believes someone else opened the account using his name. He then discovered $5,000 was taken out of his checking account and $2,300 was charged to the new Bloomingdale’s credit card. He notified TD Bank about what happened and were informed the $5,000 withdrawal occurred at an ATM machine in Flushing, New York. They were advised of what agencies to contact to report the fraud. They have contacted all the pertinent agencies and are working with TD Bank to try to retrieve the stolen money.

March 25

1:36 p.m.: A Payson Road resident reported fraud. She has been the victim of identity fraud. Her cell phone and computer have been hacked. She runs a business and used to have a location in Belmont. However, due to a fire, her office closed. She still keeps her business open through her website. Some time in the middle of November 2022, she received notice from an online payment platform, Stripe, that a person was trying to access her account using dual-authentication, a program used to add an extra layer of security when accessing personal accounts. They gave her the name of the person attempting to get into the account and she recognized it as an employee of a company named Pro-Soft which she hired to help her market her brand.  She immediately contacted her business manager and had that employee removed from her team. It took 11 days for him to be completely removed. Then on Dec. 28, 2022, she discovered credit card testing was being done on her Stripe account. It is when someone makes mall $1 or $5 charges to an account to make sure it clears. These small charges totaled over $800. She tried to close her Stripe account but they will not close it until she pays the $800 owed. Since the initial credit card testing charges, there have been over $6 million in attempted charges on her Stripe account. She also began having issues with her Apple computer and called a number she thought was Apple support. She allowed remote access with the app Any Desk. They took personal information off of her computer and cell phone. A note containing all her passwords which she stored in her phone was suddenly removed. They hacked into her daughter’s Venmo account. She has removed the Any Desk app and had to close all her bank accounts and purchase a new cell phone and computer. The hacker also deleted both her email accounts. She received an American Express card in the mail but it has been having issues since she received it. When officers attempted to call the phone number on the back of the card, it appears to be fake. When searching the phone number on the internet, it comes up as fraudulent.  She is filing a fraud report with the FBI and will possibly change her social security number. She contacted all her financial institutions and put flags on all her personal information through all the credit bureaus. Officers warn when you search Google, to not always trust the first source that appears. Also before calling, compare phone numbers with the phone number on the website of the company. If you can visit a store in person, it is always better. If you are unsure if it is legitimate, you should contact the Belmont Police.

1:42 p.m.: Partridge Lane resident reported fraud. Someone recently stole her social security number and attempted to open a Discover card. She received an email from Experion claiming they got a credit inquiry from Discover. She immediately contacted Experion to let them know she did not apply for a Discover credit card. Discover told her someone attempted to open a card using her name and a different address. The application has been put on hold. She also learned credit cards were attempted to be obtained in her name through Chase and American Express but were unsuccessful. She has contacted all the necessary agencies and will continue to monitor all her financial records and transactions.

6:32 p.m.: Collision in area of Belmont and School Streets between a 2022 Toyota operated by a Watertown woman and another 2022 Toyota operated by a Watertown man. The Watertown woman said she was stopped at the red light on School Street. When she attempted to cross over Belmont Street, she collided in the rear of the other vehicle. The Watertown man said he spun out when he was struck in the rear. He was working as an Uber driver. He had a passenger who complained of back pain. Belmont Fire arrived on the scene to assist. The passenger refused further medical assistance. The Watertown woman was issued a citation for failure to yield at an intersection.

March 26

7:23 p.m.: A Weston resident reported larceny. She was staying at a residence on Thomas Street, an Airbnb. She moved all her belongings in the Airbnb out to the sidewalk. She had to check out in the evening and was planning to hire an Uber to take her to a hotel. She left a stroller, potty for her toddler and a pair of Timberland hiking books outside. She went inside the home for about a half hour and when she came outside, everything was taken. The boots were valued at $90. The Uppababy Cruz stroller is valued at $700. The potty training toilet was valued at $35.

March 27

6:30 p.m.: A Belmont juvenile reported an unknown owner of an Instagram account was posting videos and photos of her and her house. She doesn’t know how they got photos of her house. She believes they got the photos of her from her Instagram account. The photos of her were altered to show close-ups of certain body parts. She contacted Instagram to shut down the fake account. The owner of the home informed officers the photos were taken by the realtor when they were listing the apartment for rent.

March 28

3:11 p.m.: An Orchards Street resident reported larceny. On March 14th she was looking for alternatives for health insurance using At some point, she believes she veered off the original website and found an insurance company that seemed beneficial. She called the number provided on the website and spoke with an agent, Alex, who said he was part of a government agency that worked for the private health care system. The name of the agency was Strategic Limited Partners, LT. She asked several times for Alex’s last name but he was reluctant to provide it. She began the process of applying, provided her debit card information, email, phone number, address and social security number. She soon realized it may be a scam and that $420 was withdrawn from her bank account as part of their payment plan. She immediately cancelled her debit card and contacted the attorney general’s office.  She also called the three credit bureaus who put a freeze on her account.

March 29

6:50 a.m.: Officers responded to the Belmont Street post office regarding damage to a postal mailbox. Officers observed the mailbox was open. A resident who lives nearby said it was closed the night before and has been targeted in the past for fishing. She was a past victim. Officers requested a postal inspector to respond to the scene and were unable to determine if any mail was removed.

10:57 a.m.: Wayland resident reported vandalism to 1997 BMW in the Star Market parking lot. He parked it in an electric vehicle parking spot at 10:15 a.m. When he exited his vehicle he was approached by a woman who was furious that he parked in an electric vehicle parking spot. She began to follow him into the store while screaming at him. He ignored her and was able to lose her in the store. When he returned to his vehicle, he discovered his magnetic amber LED light was on the ground near his vehicle with the cord ripped apart. His LED light is usually placed on the top of his roof with a cord running through his passenger door to his console inside. It is used for work and decorative purposes. He estimates it is valued at $30. He provided a vehicle description of the woman who yelled at him. It was black Honda Accord. The manager of Star Market said officers could subpoena the security footage.

1:28 p.m.: Chester Road resident reported larceny and fraud. She placed four letters with checks in the mailbox on Oakley Road near Chester Road on March 11. Three of the four checks arrived to the proper destination. However, one, made out to AT&T for $164.64. She received an email from the Bank of America fraud department on March 28 informing her the check appeared to be altered and was made out to Joseph McDonough for $14,700. Bank of America cancelled the check and advised her she did not need to close the account.

4:44 p.m.: A Davis Road resident reported larceny. He parked his Honda Accord in his driveway at 6 p.m. on March 27th. It was in great working condition. When he went to start it the next night, it was making loud noises. It was towed to his mechanic shop and he was informed his catalytic converter was taken.

5:33 p.m.: Partridge Lane resident reported larceny. She thought she was providing gift cards to her boss for work, but later found out it was not her boss. Earlier in the morning she received a text from someone she thought was her boss asking her to purchase surprise gift cards for staff members. They told her to take photos of the gift cards with the codes on the back visible and text them to her. She agreed to do this. A total of $5,000 gift cards were purchased between 8 a.m. and 12:51 p.m. The numbers and codes were provided via text. She later spoke to her boss and found out it was not the same person. There was $4,600 in gift cards purchased at Target, CVS and $400 from Apple.

10:56 p.m.: A New Hampshire woman reported bank fraud. There was an ATM withdrawal from her account at Citizens Bank in Belmont that she did not make. There was fraudulent activity on her account on March 26th which she addressed. A police report was filed and a new debit card was issued. However, she didn’t know the person who committed the fraud entered a second email and mailing address for her account. The second address was in Medford. As a result, two new debit cards were sent out, one to her and one to the fraudulent address. At approximately 3:50 p.m., Citizens Bank informed her a $300 withdrawal was made at a Belmont ATM. There was also another attempt to withdraw another $100 but it was stopped. The debit card has been cancelled and a fraud report was filed with the Concord, New Hampshire police department.

Belmont Police responded to two mental health calls, four domestics, one resulting in an arrest and another one resulting in a criminal complaint being filed.