An identity-theft scam called the “felony lane gang” scheme apparently started in Florida and has spread to other states, says the Columbus Dispatch. Typically, it involves a team of people stealing purses from vehicles. The purses provide identification cards and checks that are then fraudulently cashed at banks. The thief cashing the checks usually uses the bank’s drive-through lane that is farthest from a teller’s window, in hopes of passing as the victim.
When authorities recently pulled over a driver in an Ohio case, they found several wigs, stockings, and earrings in the vehicle – items allegedly used in disguises at bank drive-throughs. One Cincinnati-area woman found that her bank account had been hit for $10,000 in fraudulently cashed checks after her purse was taken. “Ladies have to stop keeping their purses in their car,” said West Chester, Oh., police detective Tim Mintkenbaugh. In West Chester, purses were stolen from vehicles parked at day-care centers while mothers had gone inside to get children.