Credit Card Fraud Rampant in Saskatchewan
22 June 2015
Police departments across Saskatchewan have had their hands full with credit card fraud cases over the past few weeks. As credit card manufacturing technology becomes more sophisticated and easier to purchase on the internet, more and more people across the country are trying their hand at making and using fraudulent cards.
“It seems to [be] more prevalent. It’s just a new form of them being able to manipulate the system,” Cost. Anthony MacKinnon of the RCMP told the Regina Leader-Post.
There have been two major credit card fraud busts in Saskatchewan over the past few weeks. One of them took place when police in Moose Jaw responded to a tip that fraudulent credit cards were being used downtown. After investigating further, the police arrested four people at Casino Moose Jaw, two men and two women, all from Calgary.
A search warrant for their hotel rooms and rental car revealed that they were in possession of fraudulent credit cards, “property obtained by crime” and about $2,000 in cash. They were each charged with possession of altered credit cards, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering forged documents.
Meanwhile, in late March, a 2004 Dodge Durango swerved off the road near Ernfold, Saskatchewan, a tiny town of about 35 people. The car rolled over and ended up in the centre ditch. When the Morse RCMP responded to the emergency, they immediately found a firearm and seven grams of crystal meth in the car, which piqued their interest enough to get a search warrant on the rest of the vehicle.
Inside, they found several computers, fraudulent gift cards, drug paraphernalia and two grams of cocaine. The gift cards had been altered by removing their original numbers and embossing them with stolen credit card numbers, customer names and expiry dates so that they could effectively be used as credit cards.
According to MacKinnon, the increasing popularity of online shopping may be at the root of the rise in fraudulent credit card manufacturing. He warns merchants to be aware of how gift cards are being used in their stores and to check to make sure any cards given to them look legitimate, saying that it’s easy to tell the real thing from a fraud.
“If you have one of these in your hand,” he said, referring to the altered gift cards, “you definitely know it’s forged.”
However, he says that many merchants don’t even take the time to look at the cards being used in their stores, leaving themselves wide open to fraud. Self-checkout machines also provide fraudsters with the opportunity to use forged cards without getting caught. MacKinnon advises store employees to keep an eye on customers using these machines and check up on anyone who seems to be taking a long time to pay, as this can be a sign of fraud.
identity theft and the resulting credit fraud are more common than ever these days. Keeping an eye on your credit file activity is an effective way to spot potential identity theft or if your information is being used for credit fraud. To protect yourself, consider signing up for a credit monitoring service to alert you to certain types of activity on your credit file.