Home > Identity Theft > Woman’s Roommate Allegedly Stole Her Credit Card to Pay for Plastic Surgery

Comments 0 Comments

One day she’s boasting about her luxurious lifestyle on social media, the next she’s behind bars. That’s because Ayesha Pudden wasn’t living the charmed life to her own devices. Rather, she was stealing whatever she could from her neighbor.

According to an article in from the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Pudden used a key card to get into flatmate Yuan Guo’s room while Guo was away. The room was open while Pudden hosted a party and about £16,115 (roughly $23,050) worth of Guo’s designer clothing, cosmetics and jewelry was stolen. Pudden also allegedly memorized Guo’s financial information and used it to spend £4,860.27 on cosmetic surgery, including a nose job and lip fillers, the Daily Mail said.

Pudden copped to the theft and was recently jailed for burglary, possessing another’s identity and fraud, the Daily Mail reported.

Unfortunately, there are more identity thieves lurking in the shadows than you may think. And they aren’t just your neighbors or roommates. In some cases, they are people you may have never even met, getting hold of your information electronically. Identity theft is growing by the year, affecting more than 12 million consumers in the U.S. in 2014, totaling upwards of $16 billion, according to the most recent Javelin Strategy & Research report.

There are two major lessons to take away from Guo’s roommate experience. First, things often not as they’re portrayed on social media. (Pudden’s Instagram and Twitter account are peppered with images of her living the life of a London debutant.) Also, you should keep a close eye on your financial accounts and your credit. There are measures in place to protect your interests in the event of credit card fraud and deeper identity theft, but this doesn’t mean it’s a breeze to retrieve what has been stolen. Guo, for instance, was only able to retrieve around £7,000 of the stolen goods, the Daily Mail reported.

There are a few steps you should remember when it comes to protecting your finances.

  1. Always secure your financial documents. Keep your bank notes, checkbooks and other personal information locked up, especially when you are away.
  2. Shop safely online. Ensure your e-commerce sites are encrypted — usually indicated with a lock in the browser window.
  3. Use a chip card. Encrypted cards offer an elevated level of security at chip-enabled cash register and ATMs; traditional magnetic stripe cards are more susceptible to skimming practices.
  4. Check your credit report often. Large swings in your credit score can be an indication your identity has been stolen. And the quicker you address it, the quicker you can put an end to it.

Staying on top of your financial accounts and your credit can mitigate card fraud or identity theft. (You can check your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.) It’s better to find out before opening that surprise credit card bill in the mail.

More on Identity Theft:

Image: weerapatkiatdumrong

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team