Waynesboro Police issue public warning on ongoing credit card scam

policecar3The Waynesboro Police Department wants citizens and businesses to be aware of a reoccurring credit card scam that has been seen perpetrated in stores particularly in small cities on the Eastern Seaboard, including Waynesboro.

Locally, Krogers, Rite Aid and Family Dollar have been targeted in Waynesboro and the Walmart in Staunton.   These scams usually involve multiple offenders who are from out of state and connected with large organized crime operations.  The goal of these individual is to purchase as many gift cards as possible with bogus information.  The cards are then sold in big cities at a reduced cost.  The latest incident happened about ten days ago at the Waynesboro Martin’s.

On August 15, several individuals using a rented vehicle from out of state entered Martin’s, 437 Tiffany Drive. Once inside the store the individuals split up and purchased multiple gift cards, IPhone cards, etc. When they attempted to pay, they used recoded credit cards using multiple encoded cards.  When the fraudulent card would work, the purchase went through. When a card was denied, the individuals used another card, sometimes using three or four multiple cards before having one that worked.

These fraudulent cards use stolen information usually purchased overseas. The stolen information is from hacking events on retailers stealing legitimate credit card users information. This information is encoded on the magnetic strip on a variety of plastic cards.  There have been multiple reports of individuals using this fraudulent technique in the Augusta County area.  In October 2014, the Police Department arrested a Brooklyn man on several felonies who was involved in one of these scam operations.

These cases are difficult to prosecute because frequently the banks who issue the original credit cards will not cooperate. Out of state financial institutions are not compelled by state subpoenas.

The Police Department suggests that retailers approached by individual attempting to purchase gift cards, etc., and using  multiple cards to make a purchase attempt to identify the purchaser and notify law enforcement.

  • Ask for identification and make note of the license plate number on the vehicle.
  • Ask to look at the cards if they are having trouble having the card work .

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