Capt. Craig Dodd, right, and Lt. Kenneth Jordan with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office, talked Friday about the arrest of Kevin Jackson on multiple charges of credit card theft and identity fraud. (Staff Photo: Jim West)
ALBANY — Officials with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office say they’ve made an important arrest in connection with ongoing local identity theft scams and credit card thefts.
At a news conference on Friday, Capt. Craig Dodd with the Sheriff’s Office said Kevin Jackson was arrested March 11 after being stopped on a traffic charge by the Albany Police Department.
Dodd said that an earlier search of Jackson’s Gowan Avenue residence, when Jackson was not present, yielded some 98 pieces of evidence affecting 30 victims. Jackson was transported to the Dougherty County jail, and charged with 44 counts of identification fraud and three counts of financial transaction card theft, with “numerous” additional charges pending, Dodd said.
According to Dodd, more that $1,300 in cash was found in Jackson’s vehicle, which had been paid for with cash.
“He was pretty much skimming for information any way he could get it,” Dodd said. “He came up with three different scams or possibly even more. He claims to have numerous other people involved but he wouldn’t give us their names. He also claims to be unstable, but we could see by what he’d put together that he’s extremely stable.”
Dodd said investigators believe Jackson has been involved with local scams impersonating officials of Mediacom, AT&T and Water Gas & Light. According to Dodd, victims are contacted by telephone and told their monthly payments have not been received. The scammers then requests the victim’s credit card or bank information to “take care of the problem.” The information is then used to order new cards or to purchase merchandise by phone, Dodd said.
Dodd said he had called the number given by an earlier scam victim, and found the man to have very low, rumbling kind of voice. Thinking the voice to be “exactly like Jackson’s” he asked the suspect about the similarity.
“He began to admit a lot of things after that,” Dodd said.
Investigators say that one way Jackson and others are able to sustain their scamming operations is through the use of “trac” or prepaid cell phones, which Jackson says can’t be traced to their source. Jackson had eight of the phones, Dodd said.
“Criminals, people in prison are using these phones because you can’t track back to them,” Dodd said “or if you do it’s usually a dead phone on the other end.”
Sheriff’s Office officials are actively searching for additional victims of the scams, Dodd said, asking anyone who has further information about Jackson or the scams to call the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 431-3222 or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPs (8477) for a possible reward.
“This is going on all over the county,” Dodd said. “These people are really small time. I don’t know how the banks in this country can continue to sustain these kinds of losses.”