Fresno Woman Pleads Guilty to Committing $100,000 in Credit Card Fraud

FRESNO, Calif. — Alena Nicole George, 43, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to access device fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, from February through April 2019, George used a credit card that was fraudulently opened in the identity of a victim with a name similar to her own name to make $100,000 in purchases at national retailers and cash advances at a national bank.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vincente Tennerelli and Joseph Barton are prosecuting the case.

George is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Jan. 21, 2022. George faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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  1. How can consumers protect against this type of identity theft?
    1. Freeze your credit file. It’s free. This process blocks identity thieves and others from looking at private details in your consumer credit history. You unfreeze when you are applying for new credit, and you can do it for just a window of time so you don’t have to remember to refreeze it later.
    2. Pull your credit report annually. By law, each of the three major credit reporting bureaus must provide a free copy of your credit report each year — but only if you request it via the government-mandated site TIP: If you pull only one, then you can pull a different one in 4 months so you can have more frequent view into your credit situation.
    Online: Equifax Freeze Page
    By phone: 800-685-1111
    By Mail: Equifax Security Freeze
    P.O. Box 105788
    Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5788

    Online: Experian
    By phone: 888-397-3742
    By Mail: Experian Security Freeze
    P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

    Online: TransUnion
    By Phone: 888-909-8872
    By Mail: TransUnion LLC
    P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016

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