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Okanagan scam artist arrested after using fake credit card

Gord Molendyk
April 22, 2013 - 12:17 PM

Police are warning businesses about the threat of credit card fraudsters following the arrest of a man suspected of committing multiple offenses in the Okanagan, and possibly the Lower Mainland.

RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says a local jewelery store was hit April 18.

"The suspect used a fraudulent credit card to purchase a $4000 dollar ring," Molendyk said of the incident at Gold 'N' Time Jewelers.

The card wouldn't swipe, so the clerk entered the number manually. Molendyk said this is typical of the type of scam.

Afterwards the clerk was a bit suspicious and after contacting Visa, learned it was a case of fraud. 

RCMP contacted VISA as part of their investigation.

Visa confirmed a similar card had also been used at a local restaurant and possibly a motel. 

Around 4:20 p.m. the clerk spotted the man again. Police were able to arrest him and the ring was recovered.

"When the suspect was arrested the investigation determined he had many pieces of false identification on him as well as Vanilla Visa cards in the name of Baker," Molendyk said.

Police were able to get a search warrant for the Motel room the suspect was staying at. 

Numerous items relating to Credit card forgery and identity fraud were seized.

The 28-year-old suspect is from Surrey and is described as a Caucasian male with shaved head, good build and tattoos on neck and shoulder.

Various charges of fraud are being recommended as a result of the local investigation.  

The investigation is ongoing and police in the Okanagan Valley are tracking down other frauds the suspect has committed from Penticton to Vernon, and possibly the Lower mainland.

The RCMP would like to caution local businesses in how these offences are being committed.

"A person will come into the business with what appears to be a valid credit card but it is actually a forged Pre-Paid type card," Molendyk said. "The magnetic stripe on the back is purposely scratched or damaged so it won't swipe properly.  The suspect or merchant will then manually enter the number which is stolen or "swiped" from someone's legitimate card and it works."

Another variation involves the suspect inserting a card into the chip reader, wiggling it to create a chip reading error, then manually entering a number after being prompted.

If you are not sure on a transaction, Molendyk says to call the credit card company for confirmation.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call (250)309-5230.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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