Credit Card Fraud Outbreak in Park Slope?
If the credit card companies involved weren't already looking into the fraud, this many victims coming forward (there are nearly two dozen "me too" emails so far) should allow them to quickly triangulate where the fraud is originating. (Some incidents appear to have happened earlier in the year, however.) Many of the victims seem to believe the problem is originating with a business in the Slope, although there's a possibility it could be coming from within the credit card companies themselves or from online purchases. Even if the cases aren't related at all, they show how widespread the problem is when people start comparing notes. Here are some samples from emails, starting with the one that started the emails flowing:
Credit Card Fraud-is the source a Park Slope restaurant? It is too weird to be a coincidence that a number of us in and around Park Slope have had the EXACT SAME problems with our VISA cards over the past 6 - 8 weeks. We had two VISA cards (Bank of America and Schwab) "hit" in mid-December with charges at gas stations in Florida and Texas. THEN we had the REPLACEMENT Bank of America VISA card hit again this past week with fraudulent charges at Target, WalMart, and Home Depot in the Philadelphia area. We are just waiting to see if the Schwab card gets hit again in the next week or so.And, here are a few excerpts of responses:
At first, we also suspected construction workers but this most recent episode occurred after the construction finished. We have reviewed our statements for the two cards and at this point, the only commonality we can find are charges at some of our local merchants/restaurants. I do not want to name the "suspects" at this time but I'm curious if anyone else has seen such a pattern.
we had several $75 charges made to our Citbank credit/debit card at a couple of different gas stations in Florida. The card was in our possession at the time. But I think that before we start suspecting someone in the neighborhood we need to know just how widespread this practice is; maybe people in California are having the same experience, who knows?And, here are a few more:
I thought I'd give you the details of the ones on my card: $75 12/05 at Sunshine in Hialeah, FL, which I'm told is a gas station. The earlier charges (7/24-7/25) were at Kroger, KMart and Walmart in Lapeer, Michigan; Walmart Supercenters in Burton / Flint MI, Walgreens in Whitehall OH and BP Oil in Columbus OH. These guys really went on a spending spree-the total charges were $4900.
Another one here: our credit card was used for a $75 charge at gas stations in Florida over Christmas; we were told that it was swiped although the card was still in our possession. Is credit card fraud so widespread that this could really be a coincidence? It seems unlikely.
Citibank called us tonight and one of our cards was hit. First with a $10 charge at home depot in New Jersey and then a $700 charge at a Smart Bargins in Florida both charges are not even posted our online statements yet. This was a citibank mastercard. hmmmIt does appear, though, that the fraud could be originating internally at a credit card company rather than (or in addition to) in Park Slope. The pattern should be a simple one for investigators to track if there is one.
Us too, although in our case it was a Citibank MC that we haven't used in a long time, probably the past year. Citibank said it has been happening a lot (gas station in Florida, etc.) so I suspect that it is a Citibank issue/security breach, not a local merchant. I am surprised at the extent of this fraud though - perhaps Citibank needs to send a letter out to its clients about it.
Labels: Park Slope