Seven people were arrested in connection with a credit card fraud scheme that swindled victims in Pennsylvania and 11 other states across the United States out of more than $100,000. They face multiple charges including corrupt organizations, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity and identity theft.
There were allegedly two different subgroups running the scheme. Both were led by individuals in their forties from New York. Another New York resident was also arrested in the scheme.
Authorities said they used stolen Capital One credit card information and customer identities to make fraudulent purchases. Many of the people whose cards were stolen were seniors. The oldest Capital One customer whose card was used was 87 years old. A 74-year-old man had $4,567.71 charged to his card in one day.
The Attorney General’s Office called the groups “swipers.” The stolen cards displayed the scammers’ names, but their magnetic strips contained the actual card owners’ information. They avoided suspicion by swiping the credit cards when making purchases instead of inserting chips into card readers, which provides enhanced security.
The groups used the stolen cards to purchase Visa gift cards at grocery stores across Pennsylvania. One group spent $31,899.91 at Giant Food Stores and racked up $39,794.99 in fraudulent purchases at Weis Markets. The other group’s unauthorized transactions at Giant supermarkets totaled $53,198.32.