Following the arrest of four men charged with using re-coded credit cards at a Glenville Wal-Mart, Glenville Police Chief Michael Ranalli said that the perpetrators of such high-tech fraud are often hard to catch unless consumers take time to review their credit-card accounts.
A re-coded credit card will have the user's name on it, but the charges will go on another account when it is scanned. The stolen account information is coded onto the fraudulent card with a device known as a skimmer, which can rewrite the information on the magnetic strips of credit and gift cards. With this process, a victim's credit card could still be in his or her possession while someone else is racking up charges on the account.
Christopher K. Clasp, 19, of 108th St., New York City; Devon Bryan, 20, of Pleasant Street, Schenectady; Julian Outcalt, 24, of Dunbar Street, Far Rockaway; and Ryan Raj, 19, of Bay Street, Far Rockaway, were arrested Tuesday, Sept. 9, on charges of felony possession of a forged instrument and possession of a forged device after Wal-Mart Asset Protection personnel alerted the police to suspicious activity. An ensuing investigation found the men in possession of a number of re-coded credit cards and a skimmer.
Ranalli said police are expecting to uncover more charges.
Police said the suspects were spotted on surveillance cameras entering Wal-Mart at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, where they tried to use several different credit cards. The suspects had trouble with the first cards but did succeed in charging $269 in electronic equipment on one card.
Ranalli said the suspects allegedly used stolen account numbers, possibly taken off the Internet. The suspects then allegedly transferred the account information using the skimmer to hotel key cards.
Ranalli said part of the reason that kind of fraud is so hard to spot is because cashiers do not have the time or training to inspect cards that are fake. In addition to hotel keys, perpetrators can also use expired gift cards that are often found outside of stores in the trash. In this case, the clerk became suspicious when the men had to used several cards in order to make the purchase.