Fraud charges are pending after a serious credit card fraud operation was uncovered in Gilbert, Arizona. Not just limited to credit cards, the man and woman team made up numerous credit cards as well as gift cards. It is thought that this operation was more than a local ring.
Fraud investigators reveal that initial accounts may reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. The financial losses to department stores such as Macy’s continue to escalate as the investigation uncovers more fraud victims. Home Depot also seems to be a target of the fraudulent cards.
The two involved, Christina Smith, 37, and Solomon Williams, 36, were found out after an astute employee wrote down the license-plate number of the vehicle after the team used fake cards to make purchases at the local Macy’s store. They have since been arrested on suspicion of forgery and other identity theft charges.
The police were dispatched and the fraudsters were found in their home. While there the police uncovered a mini card manufacturing plant. Computers complete with hardware to program magnetic credit card strips were part of the items that were found in the apartment. There was also an embossing machine, and magnetic strip stock. It was clear that cards and gift cards were being manufactured because there were rolls of security labels as well as blank credit-card stock. It is suspected that the two used the material to manufacture fake credit cards and bogus gift cards for local department and home renovation stores. This fraud operation is not a new and some transactions have been dated as far back as 2006. Victims have been identified in several states as well as Macy’s, Home Depot and many US banks.
How To Spot Fake Cards
Free trial offers are springing up and with the free trial offer a gift card is supplied. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of these trials are not trials at all but are scammers looking for credit card information. Unsuspecting card holders provide personal card information to unknown sources in hopes of getting the free trial offer or the gift card. What they don’t realize is that their information could be used by a fraudster to manufacture a fake credit or gift card.
If buying from the internet, make sure that the company provides adequate contact information. Poor, unclear or no contact information is a red flag and should be avoided. Check with family and co-workers to see if they have used the service that you are contemplating.
Most coupons and cards have a bar code and expiration date associated with them. The bar code includes information regarding the specific promotion that was included in the deal. Coupons, unlike gift certificates, have expiration dates. If the coupon does not have a bar code or an expiration date then it is most likely a fake.
Sometimes deals are available online. For example some one may be selling a $150 gift card for home décor shop for $50. That sounds like a good deal. There are however, people who will sell a used card with little or no dollar value on it. If there is a way to verify the amount on the card it is best to get the dollar amount verified. If the amount can not be confirmed, then don’t be tempted.
Most companies promote their products and businesses by giving away free things. The “buy one get one free” or “buy one get 50% the next one” type of deal but the best advice is to remember the old adage “if it sounds too good to be true than it probably is”. When internet promotions such as companies giving $1,000 free gift cards for the first 1,000 fans on Facebook one has to wonder if it is really legitimate.