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Police: 3 Arrested For Counterfeiting Credit Cards, Stealing Identities

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Crooks are cashing in on Cyber Monday. Three people were arrested for making phony credit cards, using other people’s identities.

According to Forbes magazine, this is busiest day of the year for online stores. The magazine also states it’s the busiest day for cyber criminals.

“There were people under the bed. There were people hiding from the officers,” said Sacramento County sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Bowman.

Deputies say Janis Martinez, William Martinez and William Ramirez — along with several others — were running a sophisticated identity theft and credit card ring from a hotel in Rancho Cordova. Their room was allegedly filled with computers, credit card access machines, and lots of other people’s plastic.

“Unfortunately, there were different names on the credit cards and most of them were declined,” said Bowman.

An auto glass repair owner got suspicious when the trio of suspects tried to use several credit cards. None of them worked, so he called police.

“From there, they’d use several different credit cards that they would use back and forth from their hotel room,” said Bowman.

“It’s the time of the year when this is so, so rampant,” said Bowman.

Around 131 million Americans are expected to shop online today. Cyber sales are projected to top $1.8 billion — a 13 percent jump over last year.

“Online safety is extremely complex,” said Sean Gallagher, Owner of SOSTechs.

Experts say it’s the perfect time for criminals to surf the web, looking for your personal information and hoping to cash in on this Cyber Monday shopping frenzy.

“It involves not only maintaining your operating system, but also a good antivirus system and best practices,” said Gallagher.

All three suspects are now facing identify theft charges.

CBS13 has learned one of the suspects was already on probation for identity theft.

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