Steve Noviello ID theft

Fox4 reporter Steve Noviello did everything right to protect himself from identity theft: he always chose credit instead of debit at the checkout register, and he signed up for fraud alerts on his credit account.

So the consumer protection reporter was dismayed when he received a fraud alert notifying him that his credit card was just used at a North Texas hotel.

Even though Noviello’s credit card was in his wallet, someone used his credit card number to register a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Richardson, near Dallas.

Noviello contacted Visa, then he called the Hilton hotel. At first the clerk told him no one had used his card there. Then Noviello asked the cleark to run his credit card number against charges made that day.

That’s when the clerk discovered his card was used by a guest in room 239 — Farah Parks.

Noviello called police and gave them Parks’s name and room number.

Then he decided to meet the police at the hotel and confront the ID thief in person.

Farah Parks was arrested for stealing Noviello’s credit card information.

Police say Parks presented a plastic card with Noviello’s credit card number and her name on the front.

When the electronic strip failed to swipe, the front desk clerk entered the digits manually.

After waiting outside the room for Parks to emerge in handcuffs, Noviello confronted her in the hallway. He videotaped the confrontation on his cell phone.

Transcript from Fox4 News:

“Good morning…did you use my credit card number to check into your room?” Noviello said to Parks.

“Your credit card?” said Parks.

Noviello: “Are you Farah?”

Parks: “I am Farah, but I did not use your credit card. I used a card with my name on it.”

Noviello: “How did you pay to get in to the room?”

Parks: “I’m not gonna talk to you.”
Noviello: “Can you help other consumers by letting us know how you did this? Did you use it online?”
Parks: “I actually got it from someone else.”
Noviello” “Where did you get it?”
Parks: “I’m not gonna talk about that.”
Noviello: “I’m hoping you can help me to protect other people from this happening to them, too.”

Then, Noviello, Parks and police all stepped into an elevator.

“We’ve got a quick ride down, Farah,” said Noviello. “I’d love your help. I’ve got charges with your name on it for your room for three days.”

Parks didn’t say anything.

Noviello: “I’d love for you to be able to help me, Farah. Where are you from? Are you local?”
Parks: “I’ve just made some bad choices in my life. I’m aware of that and I apologize.”
Noviello: “OK, I appreciate your apology and I’m just hoping you might be able to help me…I’m gonna come and make a request to come visit you after you get arrested and we can talk, OK?”

Parks declined Noviello’s request for that jailhouse interview.