Local police assisted Secret Service in an investigation that led to the arrest of Samuel B. Boah and Kwame A. Nketiah in Bolingbrook.
An ongoing investigation by the U.S. Secret Service’s Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force led to Bolingbrook and the arrest of two Ghanaians on charges of credit card fraud, said Derrick Golden, assistant to the special agent in charge.
Samuel B. Boah, 27, and Kwame A. Nketiah, 23, were charged with three counts each of theft by deception, all felonies. The two men were arrested at their residences in Bolingbrook on Tuesday, Golden said, after the Secret Service learned of their whereabouts and teamed with the Bolingbrook Police Department to take them into custody.
Golden said Boah and Nketiah were using stolen credit cards and “spoofing” IP addresses to order high-end electronics and to have the goods delivered to empty homes or dropboxes.
“Certain businesses won’t accept transactions from outside the country,” Golden said. “So, they were doing what we call ‘spoofing’ IP addresses and making it look like their orders were coming from within the United States.”
Golden said Boah and Nketiah would find a house for sale or a home they knew nobody was living in and have their packages delivered to those sites.
“They’d sit outside, watch for the deliveries and go pick them up as soon as the delivery man was gone,” Golden said.
He said officers seized goods from Boah and Nketiah at the time of their arrest and that the activity of the two men—and any accomplices—is believed to have been contained for now to the Chicago market.
“What we picked up (Tuesday) wasn’t a great amount, but what we’ve traced, and not just to these two individuals, if I had to put a dollar amount on it, I’d say we’re looking at $30,000 right now,” Golden said. “It’s an ongoing investigation. The secret service is working and looking at all leads, not just these two suspects.”
Golden declined to go into the specifics of how or where Boah and Nketiah gained access to the stolen credit cards, but warned citizens to keep a vigilant eye out on their cards and to protect their identity from theft.
“If you’re having packages dropped out the house, you should always have them held for a signature, not left randomly on the porch,” Golden said. “You should shred credit card statements and protect your passwords, change your passwords often.”