Consumer Comeback Blog

Homeless Man Lives Off Stolen Credit Cards for 20 Years

Yet another reason to check your credit report regularly: a Florida homeless confessed to living quite comfortably for 20 years off stolen credit card numbers.

Police questioned Jeffrey Hawkins, 49, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla on suspicions of trespassing. Hawkins waived his Miranda rights, and confessed that he was “sick of running,” ABC News reported.

“Hawkins then began to confess that he has been committing credit card fraud since the 90s,” Orange County Sheriff’s Officer Frank DelGuercio wrote in the police report. “He stated that he has been homeless and jobless since then and has just been traveling the country using and obtaining other people’s credit card numbers.”

According to the police report, Hawkins said he had memorized credit card numbers that he overheard or saw on receipts. Investigators found a list of more than 100 credit card numbers and expiration dates among Hawkins’ possessions in his room at the Disney resort. The police report included testimony from Disney security staff said they suspected Hawkins on more than 26 incidents of credit card fraud at their hotels, totaling $18,000.

Hawkins did not steal physical credit cards, so many of the cardholders never knew Hawkins used their credit card numbers. The best way to know if your credit card has been used fraudulently, is to check your credit card statements and your credit report. Even bogus card actions can hurt your credit score unless you dispute your credit history.