Scottsdale, Arizona – On June 28, 2017, First Fidelity Bank contacted the Scottsdale Police Department to request assistance for a bank account that was opened under false pretenses. The suspect had opened a bank account using a fictitious driver’s license and social security number, purchased a Polaris Slingshot and Mercedes Benz crossover vehicle and was now attempting to purchase another Mercedes Benz. The suspect had two fully extraditable warrants outstanding from Georgia related to fraud charges and was also being sought after by the US Postal Service who subsequently served a warrant on the suspect’s residence. During the service of the warrant, Detectives found an embossing machine and 350 confiscated gift cards with a total value of more than $147,000..
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office received information from Haines City PD regarding a subject who was attempting to steal gift cards and was subsequently arrested. A search of his vehicle revealed a receipt with the name of a villa located in their jurisdiction and their detectives began surveillance. They witnessed one of the suspects purchasing gift cards at a Home Depot in Orlando and followed him back to his villa where a search was ultimately conducted.
In February, a local Waukesha County business owner reported a suspicious looking package to local law enforcement. The responding officers identified a bag that was partially covered in snow and frozen to the ground. It appeared that the bag had been there for some time so as the snow began to melt, it became exposed. The bag contained approximately 1,300 Walmart gift cards. The magnetic stripes on 777 of the cards were immediately scanned into the ERAD-FCIS system, which determined that all of the magnetic stripes contained stolen credit card information, but none of the gift cards had been activated.
Many industry experts were surprised both by the number of cases and that so many of them happened at retail locations. While many financial institutions have been re-issuing credit and debit cards with chips, only 36% of retail locations were capable of reading them. And since internet and phone purchases don’t require chips, fraudulent activity in those situations was up over 40%. Those numbers mean that last year, 1 out of every 20 consumers was affected by identify theft.
5 Things You Should Know To Stop Card Crime
The movement of funds, and money laundering via payment cards, has become a rampant, multi-billion dollar criminal industry. Drug smuggling organizations and human traffickers supplement or focus on this new method to increase their wealth. Law enforcement does not have the tools or expertise to counter this global epidemic.
With our ERAD-certified, audio-jack connected, magnetic stripe card reader, you can use your smart phone to scan stolen credit, debit, ATM, retailer gift and prepaid cards, just like you do today from your laptop or desktop computer. When you confiscate prepaid cards, use the ERAD mobile application to check the prepaid card balances and freeze those funds before the criminals have a chance to move the money.
Investigators with the Hamilton County, OH Sheriff’s Office interdicted a criminal organization from Illinois traveling through their jurisdiction. After noting several indications of suspicious activity, a search was conducted. 58 debit cards, along with a card reprogrammer (pictured left) and and $54,000 USC were recovered. ERAD was used for immediate identification and cataloging of the suspicious payment cards.
During a traffic stop on I-20, a Heflin Police Officer detected the odor of marijuana from inside the vehicle he stopped. During a probable cause search of the vehicle, the officer located 40 gift cards in the center console and numerous receipts on the rear floor of the vehicle, showing repetative reloading of the gift cards from various stolen credit card numbers. The Heflin officer used ERAD to catalog and conduct a balance inquiry on the 40 gift cards. A total of $19,600 USC was identified and recovered from the cards.
Highlands Village, TX – Investigators used the ERAD system to identify 652 fraudulent payment cards and subsequently recovered approximately $14,000 USC as a result of their investigation. Please contact Detective Cory Gullo at 972-317-5558 ext. 510 for additional information.
Lawrenceville, GA – Detectives with the Lawrenceville Police Department utilized the ERAD system to interrogate and catalog 1,471 payment cards during an investigation. Investigators used ERAD to identify and freeze approximately $34,000 USC of suspected illicit currency being held on “same-as-cash” cards. Detective Kevin Dyals was the lead investigator and may be contacted at 770-670-5057 for additional information.