NASSAU BAY, Texas - A Houston-area nurse has been arrested and charged with credit card abuse for allegedly stealing personal information and using it to open credit cards in other people's names.
Toni McGragh Terry, 44 is accused of stealing the personal information of hospital employees and possibly of patients.
Police would not reveal the name of the hospital that hired Terry and would only say she has been employed in both Harris and Galveston counties.
"She is hired on as a contract worker with hospitals, she's a home health nurse and she has access to not only employee information but patient information, as well," said
Officer Tangie Beaton, with the Lakeview Police Department.
Officers with the Nassau Bay and Lakeview police departments arrested Terry on March 5 for credit card abuse.
Beaton says one of Terry's colleagues came forward to report that somebody had opened a credit card in her name without her knowledge and spent nearly $300 back in January.
The woman, named Veronica, asked KPRC 2 not to reveal her identity.
Veronica tells KPRC 2 a credit card company contacted her asking for a payment but she says she doesn't have any credit cards in her name.
"They said, 'Well, we have proof. We have your Social Security number, we have the phone number that you called from to open up a credit card," she said.
Veronica immediately contacted police and Beaton launched an investigation, and says she traced the scam back to Terry.
"I also found a number of unexplained identifications in her possession," said Beaton.
According to Beaton, Terry had a dozen pieces of identification belonging to other people in her possession.
"That's just wrong to take other people's things that they've worked hard for," said Veronica.
She claims other nurses at the hospital have also complained about stolen money and credit cards. Veronica believes Terry may have stolen her information out of her purse at work.
"It never occurred to me that someone would go into my bag and steal my identity," she said.
"If you think you might be a victim of Toni McGragh Terry, please contact me at 281-333-2212 or Officer Beaton at 281-326-5900," said Nassau Bay Police Sgt. Glenn Sharp.
"Identity theft happens too often. It is important for people to take some simple yet important steps to protect their identity."
Sgt. Sharp's tips to protect your identity:
• Shred private records and statements that contain financial information.
• Safeguard your Social Security number and other personal information.
• Never let your credit card out of your sight.
Terry is also facing a possession of a controlled substance charge. Police say they found cocaine in her possession during their credit card abuse investigation.
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