Fraud cases 'linked'

PUBLISHED: 14:24 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:56 15 June 2010

A CRIMINAL gang, which stole a Stockland woman's identity as part of an international credit card scam, targeted a Honiton man in 2006.

A CRIMINAL gang, which stole a Stockland woman's identity as part of an international credit card scam, targeted a Honiton man in 2006.Felicity Hartnell, 43, was lumbered with a £10,000 bill for items bought in a Montreal boutique - even though she doesn't have a passport.The story was familiar to Honitonian Steve Jennings, 42. He was having lunch with a business contact in Swindon when his credit card was used at the same Montreal outlet, Boutique Diana.That was two years ago. After reading of Mrs Hartnell's experience in a recent issue of the Herald, Mr Jennings, said: "It is too much of a coincidence."The amount spent in my case was just over £1,000. There was only one transaction in Montreal but it happened at the same time that I was in Swindon, and I used the card to purchase lunch for myself and a client in a nearby Holiday Inn."Mr Jennings, a former national account manager for the Daily Mail, used to spend two to three nights a week in London, staying at either a Travel Inn or Copthorne Hotel in Kensington High Street.Mrs Hartnell had also used her card in Kensington and Mr Jennings is convinced there is a connection between that part of London and the criminal gang's network of operatives."I reported what happened to me to American Express," he said. "Eventually, they said my card had been cloned and that they were chasing the culprits."I am not surprised it has happened again. At the time it happened to me, I felt there wasn't a conclusive end to it.


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