Fresh from her starring role in Ocean’s 8, Demi Moore has been revealed to have suffered a real-life heist earlier this year. Reports have surfaced that last month, credit card fraud stung the 55-year-old actress for in excess of $169,000. Despite the fact Moore has been an established Hollywood star for over 30 years now, this case proves that even the most famous of Americans can be the subject of identity theft. However, the nature of this crime is almost worthy of a film in its own right.
A Tightly-Planned Operation
Unlike the convoluted plotline in Ocean’s 8, there was only one person masterminding this operation. 35-year-old David Matthew Read was caught and recently convicted of the crime in Los Angeles to which he is now serving a jail sentence for this federal crime. During the trial, the full extent of Read’s crime was unveiled and the records from the case have now been obtained and made public.
How Did It Happen?
To acquire Moore’s credit card, Reid falsely reported the credit card as being stolen to American Express. In response to this information, the financial services giant automatically canceled Moore’s existing card with immediate effect and dispatched a replacement card as per their policy in such instances. Read was then able to intercept the replacement card at a FedEx store and falsely signed for receipt of the package before embarking on an extravagant spending spree.
Between March 8th and March 27th this year, Read was cited in court records as racking up a total of $169,764 in multiple stores throughout Los Angeles unbeknown to Moore at the time.
How Was He Caught?
Like many good films, this story enjoyed a happy ending where good triumphs over the criminally evil. Once Moore noticed a string of unusual transactions on her credit card statement, Amex were immediately contacted to query the charges.
It was at this point Moore learned her card had already been reported as stolen and a new card issued in its place almost a month prior. The police were then able to piece together video surveillance footage from both the FedEx store and several of the high-end shops where the card was used. Upon his arrest in early April, Read then confessed when presented with the evidence to special agent Alfredo Rossi.
A Growing Problem
Of the many ways in which it’s possible to suffer from identity theft, credit card fraud is now the most common form of this in America today. To accomplish his crime, Read would have needed enough information to pass the credit checks in place with both American Express and the FedEx store.
While the Amex fraud prevention service ensured she had the full amount returned with no fees or charges suffered, as they would from any of their products be it the illustrious Black or everyday Blue credit card, it proves that this is a crime which can affect anyone, irrespective of their social standing. Vigilance over your account activity is advised to everyone and while all financial service companies have a wide range of protective measures in place to safeguard your money, a determined thief can still find a way to temporarily spoil your day.