Philadelphia29 May 2013 04:11 pm

PPDInformation Bulletin Received From the Philadelphia Police Department

The Philadelphia Police Department Central Detective Division has identified a scam targeting merchants in and around the city of Philadelphia.

The scam works as follows:

The subject/customer executes the scam by walking into a store and or business well dressed, after selecting the merchandise the subject use a prepaid credit card/debit card, with his or her name displayed on the card. The subject also uses a Pennsylvania state driver’s license or identification card with the name matching the name on the credit card. Once the merchant swipes the credit card for approval the card is automatically declined. The reason for this declination is that the credit card is prepaid, and no funds were ever deposited to make the card have a positive balance. The merchant then tells the subject/customer that the card was declined; subject/customer then comes up with an excuse as to why the card was declined. Subject/customer uses their cell phone to call their bank; in reality, subject/customer is calling a co-conspirator at another location. The merchant is then handed the subject/customer’s cell phone. The merchant is led to believe they are speaking to a representative of the subject/customer bank. Co-conspirator asked the merchant if they verified the customer’s identification, etc. Once the security question part of the conversation is over the co-conspirator will, then ask the merchant what type of credit card machine are using after the merchant responds to the co-conspirator instructs the merchant to key in a series of commands, which prints out a receipt with an approval code, and the merchant then hands the phone back to the subject/customer. The merchant has subject/customer sign the receipt, and he/she exits the store with the merchandise. Most merchants do not discover the scam until they receive a charge back from their bank several days later.

Purchases range from a few hundred dollars to over ten thousand dollars at a time.

Central Detective Division S.I.U is conducting the investigation into this matter, contact Detective Steven Parkinson 8164, at 215-686-3093.



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