These kinds of crimes are infuriating. If your card is stolen, it is gone. But, if the number is lifted, you do not know your finances and your good name are in trouble until the siphoning from your account has begun. This week in Crime Stoppers, a chance to get two crooks off the streets before they can strike again and a chance for you to earn some free reward cash.
"It's not as difficult or high tech of a crime as you would expect," explained Chattanooga Police Officer Mark Frazer. It is, though, a crime that can wreck your finances and tie up your life. The trouble begins with credit card skimming, then for the criminal, ends with theft.
There is risk involved every time you use your debit or credit card, but gas pumps are particularly vulnerable. "They can of fix a little credit card reader-writer on the top that swiper," Officer Frazer continued. "You never know was there. So, when you swipe your card, it's paying at the pump, but it's also being swiped and the number's being stolen."
Whether or not this is the way these thieves operated, the evil deed was done. "In this particular case, these ladies somehow obtained a stolen credit card number,"said Frazer. "They then generated a card of their own with the magnetic strip."
Cut to the Target store on Highway 153. Police say surveillance photos show the duo as they complete their nearly $500 shopping spree. "The guy whose number they used was sitting at home," Frazer added. "He saw his card in his hand and he was like, 'well, I didn't buy these things!'"
Neither did the ladies we are looking for. "You can see in the pictures," Frazer described, "these ladies are coming out, they're happy, they are thrilled because they just walked out of Target with a load of stuff that they don't have to pay for."
They may not have paid with their money, but we will with ours In increased card fees and higher prices.
The women do not look like hardened criminals, but Frazer says this type of crime is being committed by people in all walks of life. Help stop these two before they go on their next spending spree and before it is with your card number. Crime Stoppers will make it worth your while. "I'm happy to get your information, validate that information, and when that comes through and these ladies get arrested, I want to pay you," Off. Frazer said.
Up to $1,000 cash is waiting. If you know these women or anything about the crime, do the right thing: protect our community and everyone's hard earned money. They will never know you turned them in.
The Crime Stoppers number is: 698-3333
If you get voice mail, leave a way for Officer Frazer to get back with you. He will have questions, but he will never ask your name.