A social media photo trial has authorities in Georgia looking for a Raleigh woman in connection with a fraud case.
It’s a fraud operation that involves a fake company, impersonating the victim, a theft of more than $100,000 and it could all come to an end with a simple selfie.
Investigators in Atlanta found selfies on Facebook showing a woman posing in a leopard dress in a mirror and a close up of her wearing sunglasses and bright lipstick. Then they compared those photos with surveillance images from several banks of a woman named Tanya Peel.
They believe Peel is one of several people they saw in various surveillance videos walking into banks and walking out with withdrawals that would total $175,000. Authorities say it all started with a fake business.
“Tanya Peel went to a Chase bank here in Atlanta and set up a fake business account in her name,” said Detective Ken Stapler with the Atlanta Police Department.
Stapler believes she or someone she knows then went after a target, draining the victim’s Charles Schwab account of that $175,000. He says $123,000 of that ended up in that account set up by Peel, an account that is now leading authorities from Georgia to Raleigh.
“She used her real North Carolina identification to set up the bank account,” said Stapler.
The police report shows Peel’s last known address in Raleigh is an apartment in Marchester on Millbrook on Beaver Lake Court. ABC11 knocked on the door but here was no answer. We spoke to several people living nearby and no one recognized Peel’s name or description.
We found her again on Facebook and saw she used to attend Shaw University, but when we logged back in just an hour later, we found the page and those tell-tale selfies were gone.
Atlanta police say another big part of the scheme came into play when the banks would call to verify those large cash withdrawals. Police say Peel and those she’s working with would call the victim’s phone provider, AT&T. They somehow had all his information and used it to change his account so his calls would be forwarded to their phone. They would then answer and approve the transactions.
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  1. Met you know I think it’s the facial recognition software that the social networks are equipped with that catching these criminals.

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