Local News

Johnston County Woman Arrested In Identity Fraud Ring

Posted January 29, 2002

— As many as 80 people in Johnston County may have had their credit cards or personal information stolen. One person has been arrested in what authorities believe is the county's largest identity theft scheme.

Rosa Jones has not used her JCPenney credit card in more than a year, but she was contacted a few weeks ago by the company. The company said more than $4,000 was charged to her account during the holidays.

"My heart kind of fell. She didn't tell me how much," Jones said.

"Most of the victims did not even know that they were victims. They had no idea until we called them on the phone," said Capt. Dale Wheeler of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

Meeks is currently in the Johnston County jail under $320,000 bond. Authorities say Meeks is not cooperating with investigators even though she currently faces 16 charges. Other charges are pending.

Jones and investigators said they are puzzled as to how the information was stolen.

"She didn't have my card. I don't know how she got this account," Jones said. "My card, when they called, was in my pocketbook," Jones said.

Jones said JCPenney has agreed to remove the charges from her account.

If you become a victim of identity theft, immediately have a fraud alert put on your credit report. It flags lenders to call you before issuing credit in your name. No matter how much a thief spends, you will be liable for $50 of the debt, but it is up to you to convince the credit companies you are not responsible for the charges.


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