Crime

Facebook selfie helps police catch alleged identity thief

A North Carolina woman who, police said, scammed a Georgia man out of $175,000 was arrested Thursday thanks in part to a Facebook selfie.

Atlanta police said a photo posted by 26-year-old Tanya Monique Peel to her Facebook page helped them identify her as a suspect in the identity theft. Peel allegedly opened up a bank account in her own name. "Bank surveillance cameras matched the woman who withdrew the $123,000 to the picture on the Facebook page and her driver’s license," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Peel, who lived in Raleigh, N.C., allegedly stole an Atlanta man's identifying information and his cell number, which allowed them to order his bank to transfer large amounts of cash to outside accounts which they controlled.

The victim's phone calls were also forwarded to another cell phone, which further obfuscated the crime -- when the victim's bank called him back to verify the fraudulent transfers, they were immediately forwarded to the perpetrators.

Police obtained a warrant for Peel's arrest in mid-July. Police told the AJC they believe she did not work alone.

Peel was booked into the Fulton County Jail on felony theft by taking.

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