Two Lower Mainland men arrested in credit card frauds

West Shore RCMP have arrested two males from the Lower Mainland who were involved in multiple fraud investigations out of Duncan.

The two men were arrested at the Superstore located at 835 Langford Pkwy in Langford last Thursday at approximately 3 p.m. The Langford Superstore Loss Prevention officer recognized the two males involved in credit card frauds from the Duncan Superstore and immediately contacted police.

The two men were taken into custody without incident.

As a result of an investigation conducted by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, it was learned that on Dec. 22, 2014, the two suspects made a total of 85 transactions with different prepaid VISA/Mastercards at the Duncan Real Canadian Superstore.

Fifty-four of those transactions resulted in purchases, the rest were declined or cancelled.

At this time, police are recommending 13 counts of fraud charges against these two individuals. Police are continuing to investigate and further charges may be recommended.

"Suspects will sometimes use the card numbers associated to active credit cards in the U.S, as they do not require a chip, whereas most Canadian cards require a chip," said Const. Alex Berube, spokesperson of the West Shore RCMP. "We would like to remind the public and merchants of the active presence of fraudsters relating to credit cards.

"We will keep working with our community partners to educate the public on how to avoid fraud," said Berube.

Police are advising businesses and consumers alike to be on the lookout for credit card fraud.

"All year long, but especially in the busy shopping season, businesses and employees should pay attention to the cards presented to make purchases," Cpl. Jon Stuart of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP said. "You should be aware of some of the safety features included in the credit cards, and know what to look for."

Fraud can be avoided if counterfeit cards are spotted before transactions are processed, he added, noting several built-in security features that help to distinguish between real and counterfeit cards: Embossing: Is it clear and straight? Four printed numbers: Do they match the first four numbers of the embossing?

Signature panel: Has it been tampered with?

Always checking the card for key security features: embossing, hologram and repetition of the card’s first four numbers Comparing signatures: The one on the card should match the one on the receipt Visa, Stuart noted, has cards with chip and PIN security.

"These cards have a computer chip that securely stores encrypted payment-related information and is virtually impossible to copy," he said.

"Chip cards help prevent against fraud, as a PIN is required at chip-enabled terminals."

Clerks and cashiers should be aware that some crooks will use Visa cards fraudulently loaded with American numbers that do not require a chip, while most Canadian cards do.

"These might even be fraudulent Visa cards, loaded with the stolen information of a MasterCard or American Express," Stuart said.

"If you look at the printed till information and compare it to the card, you can ensure that the card front and information in the receipt are the same."

When taking orders online or over the phone, it is important to ask the customer for the card expiration date, and to include it in the authorization request. An invalid or missing expiration date could mean that the purchaser does not have the actual card.

"Use fraud detection tools such as the three-digit code on the rear of the card and Account Information Security as part of your authorization process," Stuart added. "For online purchases, watch for multiple cards used from a single IP (Internet Protocol) address. Also watch for orders charged to multiple cards but shipped to the same address."

Other things to be aware of are first-time shoppers, larger-than-normal orders, orders of several of the same item, orders of "bigticket" items, rush or overnight orders, and orders to international addresses.

"If you’re suspicious about a card, call your authorization centre and ask for authorization," Stuart said. "An operator will tell you what to do, but never risk your personal safety if you feel threatened. Businesses should ensure all staff are educated on proper credit card acceptance procedures, and check references and conduct background checks on all of your employees."

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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