A Pennsylvania couple, still reeling from a fire that left their house condemned, now say someone burglarized the charred remains of their home, taking a credit card and some family jewelry.
“I felt like because I had been the victim of a fire, someone took the opportunity to victimize me even more because they felt like the insurance will pay for it,” Adrianne Graves told a local CBS affiliate.
Graves and her husband, Michael, had lived in their Abington, Penn., home for almost three decades before losing most of their possessions to the Feb.15 blaze.
Police now are looking for a man who used the stolen credit card. Surveillance cameras from stores on Broad Street in North Philadelphia (about 10 miles south of Abington) reportedly captured images of the man. Police said they are unsure if he is the one who stole the card or if he bought it from the original thief, according to the CBS report.
“What’s the likelihood of someone coming from North Philadelphia here to Abington, take some credit cards, then go back down to Philadelphia to use them?” Michael Graves told CBS. “More than likely, someone from here took them and maybe sold them to him.”
In addition to the card, the burglar reportedly took Adrianne’s engagement ring and an anniversary ring. Michael told CBS the credit card can be replaced but he wants his wife’s rings back.
Dealing With Identity Theft After Disaster
Cases of identity theft following a tragedy or natural disaster are, unfortunately, all too common. You can minimize the odds of falling victim by asking the post office to hold your mail (this keeps thieves away from sensitive information in your mailbox) and contacting your bank, credit union or financial planner to see if they offer any identity theft management services. (There are more tips for protecting your identity in a disaster here.)
Remember, no matter what the circumstances, if your credit card is lost or stolen, it’s a good idea to cancel the card with your issuer and monitor your statements closely for signs of fraud. And, if you even have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised, you can keep a close eye on your credit for any suspicious activity. One way to do this is to get your two free credit scores that are updated monthly on Credit.com. A sudden drop in scores is a sign identity theft may be occurring.
More on Credit Cards:
- An Expert Guide to Credit Cards With Rewards
- How to Get a Credit Card With Good Credit
- How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit
Image: Sergey Peterman