Calgary woman charged in credit card fraud scheme

30 March 2015

A 30-year-old Calgary woman was recently charged with carrying out a credit card fraud scheme that cheated three gas stations out of over $44,000. The scam went on for five months, between July and November of 2014, and involved some unusual tactics.

Staff Sergeant Kristie Verheul of the Calgary Police’s economic crimes unit told the Calgary Herald that the woman used a simple algorithm shared widely amongst online criminals to generate credit card numbers. She would proceed to take the numbers to three gas stations in her area where she knew the employees and ask them to enter the numbers in manually in order to pay for prepaid credit and gift cards. She then sold these gift cards for slightly less than full price.

This might seem like a difficult scheme to pull off effectively, since there was no guarantee that all of the numbers would work. However, the suspect may have had an advantage that many potential credit fraudsters do not.

“I think there was a bit of enamoured feeling maybe on the part of some of the clerks,” said Sgt. Verheul. “They would tell her which ones were good and which ones weren’t.”

The scheme came to an end when the owner of one of the gas stations finally began to notice the losses the business had been taking each month and contacted the police. They launched an investigation that resulted in the woman being charged with three breaches of recognizance, two counts of possession of credit card data and one count of fraud over $5,000.

If you are concerned that your credit may be compromised due to identity theft or credit card fraud, subscribing to a credit monitoring service can do a lot to contribute to your peace of mind.