Sixty-one year old Artestine Ramey and twenty-four year old Jessica Washington targeted seniors, disabled people and nursing home residents in a ID and utility theft scheme that they masterminded
Reportedly, Ramey and an accomplice would set up accounts with utility companies using identities of seniors, disabled individuals, or nursing home residents. Ramey reportedly had access to the victims’ personal information, although how she obtained the information is unknown. Ramey allegedly would set up utility accounts for people who could not get accounts on their own. For her “service”, Ramey would be paid a fee. Ramey then would call the utility company and, using a stolen identity, would set up a fraudulent account.
An Illinois gas company alerted authorities to the possible scam when it reported that an individual was opening hundreds of accounts using the identities of the unsuspecting victims. Authorities investigated and found yet another utility company that was experiencing the same problems. Reportedly, it took authorities two years to finally catch the women.
Ramey is charged with one count of felony theft over $500,000 and under $1 million, one count of felony theft over $300 and under $10,000, 21 counts of aggravated identity theft, and six counts of identity theft. Washington faces one count of forgery and one count of aggravated identity theft.
How can you help your loved one avoid becoming a victim of identity theft?
– Allow only those with a “need to know” access to your loved one’s social security number.
– Visit the facility regularly and at different times.
– Know the staff.
– Routinely check credit reports.
– Sign your loved one up for an identity protection service.
The Terry Law Firm handles cases of elder abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, please contact us toll-free at 1-888-317-2525 or (314) 878-9797.