Suspects sought in credit card fraud incidents

Russells Point Police ask business owners to be vigilant

Officers of the Russells Point Police Department are currently seeking information about several suspects who reportedly were involved in fraudulent credit card purchases or attempted purchases made at several businesses in the Indian Lake area.

RP credit card suspect

Officers of the Russells Point Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying this suspect, who along with other individuals was involved in a fradulent credit card purchase at Lester’s Tobacco Shop, 116 Sunnyside Ave., and the Village Pantry, 209 State Route 708.

Officers were dispatched about 4:45 p.m. Friday to Lester’s Tobacco Shop, 116 Sunnyside Ave., Russells Point, regarding two male suspects who were attempting to purchase more than $800 in cigarettes and other merchandise.

Officers responded and learned that two black males in their 30s attempted to purchase the items with multiple credit cards, all of which were declined. The males then left the store without any merchandise and entered an early 2000’s tan sport utility vehicle, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe, with unknown out of state license plates, and left the area.

While officers were speaking with employees there, they learned the same individuals had purchased more than $300 of cigarettes and other merchandise at the Village Pantry, 209 State Route 708, Russells Point, prior to the incident at the tobacco shop. In that instance, three black male suspects entered the Village Pantry and the first credit card they provided was declined before the second card was accepted.

Witnesses stated the suspects claimed they were from Chicago, and one of the individuals is pictured in the surveillance footage photo. Anyone with information about the individuals is asked to contact the police department at 843-2245. 

Officers said the credit cards used by suspects likely had been encoded with information stolen from unsuspecting card holders.

Washington Township Police Department officers are currently investigating a similar case in which individuals were caught attempting to use multiple credit cards encoded with stolen information at the Midway Marathon. 

The recent activity also is the second instance of this sort investigated by the Russells Point Police Department within the last several years.

In light of these credit card fraud concerns, officers recommend that all business owners review credit card transaction policies with their employees and include the following:

  • matching ID with card holder;
  • matching signatures;
  • matching the last four digits on credit receipt with the last four digits on the card ; and
  • if the numbers do not match, fraud should be suspected.

The following should be considered suspicious:

  • individuals attempting to buy multiple gift cards with multiple credit cards; 
  • individuals attempting to run multiple cards;
  • multiple cards being declined; and
  • individuals attempting to buy multiple cartons of cigarettes or tobacco products.