Third arrest made in credit card fraud scheme
The Greenville Police Department has made a third arrest in a case involving a local restaurant employee stealing customer’s credit card information.
On June 23, Tanya Powell, 42, of Greenville, and Ladairus Powell, 20, of Greenville were arrested and charged with multiple counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. Tanya Powell has also been charged with two counts of fraudulent possession of a credit card.
According to authorities, Tanya Powell stole the credit card information while working as a cashier at Hardee’s.
“She’d get the card information when customers paid for their order, and then she’d take that information home and use it to purchase items online,” said Lt. Justin Lovvorn.
A week later, Nicholas McMeans, Tanya Powell’s boyfriend, was arrested and charged with two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.
“(McMeans) was found to be involved in purchasing items online using stolen credit card numbers,” Lovvorn said.
Lovvorn said that authorities believe they have arrested everyone involved the credit card fraud scheme.
“We have been able to subpoena most all of the records from the stolen credit card numbers and feel confident that all the necessary charges have been filed,” he said. “We will continue to investigate this case and verify that there are no additional victims, but we feel confident at this point that we have located all the credit card numbers that were stolen by the former Hardee’s employee and filed the proper charges.”
How Does Credit Card Fraud Happen?
Theft, the most obvious form of credit card fraud, can happen in a variety of ways, from low tech dumpster diving to high tech hacking. A thief might go through the trash to find discarded billing statements and then use your account information to buy things. A retail or bank website might get hacked, and your card number could be stolen and shared. Perhaps a dishonest clerk or waiter takes a photo of your credit card and uses your account to buy items or create another account. Or maybe you get a call offering a free trip or discounted travel package. But to be eligible, you have to join a club and give your account number, say, to guarantee your place. The next thing you know, charges you didn’t make are on your bill, and the trip promoters who called you are nowhere to be found.
What Can You Do?
Incorporating a few practices into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe. For example, keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates and the phone number to report fraud for each company in a secure place. Don’t lend your card to anyone and don’t leave your cards, receipts, or statements around your home or office. When you no longer need them, shred them before throwing them away.
Other fraud protection practices include:
- Don’t give your account number to anyone on the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know to be reputable. If you’ve never done business with them before, do an online search first for reviews or complaints.
- Carry your cards separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet or purse.
- During a transaction, keep your eye on your card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away.
- Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
- Open your bills promptly — or check them online often — and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made.
- Report any questionable charges to the card issuer.
- Notify your card issuer if your address changes or if you will be traveling.
Report Losses and Fraud
Call the card issuer as soon as you realize your card has been lost or stolen. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24 hour service to deal with this. Once you report the loss or theft, the law says you have no additional responsibility for charges you didn’t make; in any case, your liability for each card lost or stolen is $50. If you suspect that the card was used fraudulently, you may have to sign a statement under oath that you didn’t make the purchases in question.
Courtesy of The Federal Trade Commission.
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