Stolen Credit Cards Becoming Serious Problem - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/25/06

Stolen Credit Cards Becoming Serious Problem

Chatham police are still looking for a woman using a stolen credit card.  They say part of the problem lies with the convenience of using credit cards. Self-serve checkouts are supposed to make life easy for customers, but it turns police say thieves are taking advantage of the convenience.

Since Friday, we've been showing you security video of a woman leaving a Wal-Mart with a cart of groceries. Police say she stole a credit card and has rung up more than 700 dollars worth of charges at various stores in the area, all while blatantly signing the receipts with a derogatory phrase.

While they look for people to identify her, they think new technology, while convenient may be leaving us open to credit card fraud. She targeted self serve stations all over the coastal empire, her weapon?  A stolen credit card.

"Listen Savannah, can you help us out here.  Maybe you know this person?” said Detective Ron Tryan with Savannah-Chatham Police Department. The only picture police have of this credit card thief is this Wal-mart security video. Detective Tyran says she seems pretty proud of herself and her signature gives away how brazen she really is.

"When signing on the self serve scanner, she swipes the card and signs it 'DUMB....' Cashiers don't catch it. "They actually never see signatures put on the machine itself," according to Det. Tyran. He blames the booming credit card fraud problem on America's fascination with convenience. He says security is getting lost in the mix, and thieves know it. "They know they can go to this area, process it there, never produce a card to anyone. and go to the pad and scribble. sign or write what we have seen," says Tyran. 

Whoever this woman is, she's in big trouble racking up multiple transactions and 700 dollars worth of charges. "Each time she swipes that card. she creates 3 felonies. So the amount may be low but 15 times 3 she has committed 45 felonies."

Even if credit card thefts continue to rise, Detective Tyran doesn't expect stores to move away from self serve. "Right now my evaluation is nothing is going to change," Tyran said.

If you have information which could lead to the arrest of the credit card thief, contact Crimestoppers at 234-2020.

Reported By: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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