PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Three Philadelphia men have been charged with using Instagram to steal thousands of dollars from banks.
Authorities say the men stole more than $50,000 from various financial institutions, including the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union.
According to court documents, Shakour S. Smith, 26, Ikeem M. Starks, 25, and Quadir J. Burley, 18, used Instagram to recruit people in their fraud scheme.
Police say the men created an Instagram account where they posted bank logos and enticed people to “like” their posts. The criminals then obtained account information from the people who responded – promising them a cut of the money they planned to steal from banks.
The men would allegedly deposit fraudulent checks into the accounts of participants and then withdraw money that wasn’t there, say officials.
“These thieves used modern-day social media tools to lure people to help them commit old-fashioned crimes – depositing fraudulent checks into bank accounts and withdrawing money that didn’t belong to them,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Whether the criminals are scammers targeting elderly Pennsylvanians, or con men targeting banks, we’ll hold them accountable.”
The men were caught after meeting with undercover agents, posing as potential participants, to explain how the scam worked.
All three have been charged with conspiracy to commit theft by deception, multiple counts of dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities and related crimes.
They are being held in Montgomery County Prison.