A 29-year-old Florida man was recently arrested after a traffic stop when police discovered marijuana and counterfeit cloned credit cards in his vehicle. According to Fort Myers’ WZVN (an ABC affiliate), Ruben Rodriguez De Roux was stopped along I-75 after he was observed committing several traffic violations. A K-9 deputy alerted Lee County officers to the smell of marijuana during the stop, so the vehicle was searched. Authorities discovered more than 100 counterfeit credit cards in the suspect’s possession, each with $10,000 limits.
The magnetic strips on the cards had been re-encoded with victims’ stolen credit card information. Police believe that Rodriguez De Roux used a skimming device (similar to the ones that have been found in Michigan in recent months) to capture the data in order to create the fake cards. The News-Press in Fort Myers reports that 22 of the cards were blank, 63 had one specific name, and 15 had another individual’s name. Rodriguez De Roux had four of the fraudulent credit cards in his wallet as well.
Identity theft is still a serious problem in the United States. As businesses use computer networks to conduct operations, more and more personal and financial information is being stored online, posing a greater risk to data security. A recent report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that nearly 17.6 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity theft in 2014; of these, 8.6 million experienced the fraudulent use of a credit card account. According to the 2015 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy and Research, Florida ranks as the number one state for identity theft complains. Washington and Oregon follow in second and third place, respectively.
Rodriguez De Roux faces 103 felony counts of fraud, one count of possession of marijuana, and one count of driving with a suspended license. He is currently in custody in Lee County jail on $517,000 bail.