Hobart police announced 30 fraud and identity theft charges Wednesday against a woman they are currently looking for in the wake of a complex check fraud scheme.
Police say Willie Mae Zollicoffer uses other people’s information and bogus checks at stores on the Route 30 Corridor. Police detailed the scheme last month to NBC 5 in hopes of warning others. Zollicoffer has posted pictures of herself enjoying the spoils of her illicit shopping sprees on Instagram.
Lt. James Gonzales says the investigation has taken him from Hobart to Highland and that Zollicoffer has spent thousands of dollars at stores in at least Indiana and Illinois.
“People make these checks and they look very authentic,” Gonzales told NBC 5 last month.
Karen Jordan is a physician in Indiana who lives in Chicago—and a victim of the identity theft scheme police are investigating. Someone used her information on a fake ID and checkbook to make multiple purchases totaling thousands of dollars in Indiana and Illinois.
“I received bounced checks from a debt collector, in my name, and it’s been upsetting” Jordan said last month, adding that she’s been dealing with the situation every day for the last three months.
Jordan’s daughter, Anne, has stepped up to help her try and fend off the damage from her credit.
“It’s so frustrating, it’s hours and hours of phone calls a day,” she said. She also said there are 41 transactions that she and her mother know about so far that toal more than $7,000.
Authorities say it’s unclear how the personal information was obtained by the thieves.
“We have no idea how they got her information and that’s really scary,” Anne said.
“It’s quite rampant that people are doing this and it’s difficult to catch them,” Karen Jordan said.
Police are continuing to investigate—but in the meantime suggest getting a lock on your credit and protecting your license and credit cards while out shopping.