Credit card fraud becoming a new tool for gang members

Credit card fraud is becoming more popular with gang members.

Twelve members of the Hoodstarz gang from Brooklyn, New York were charged with running a credit card fraud scheme, according to The Wall Street Journal. The members manufactured more than 700 fake credit cards, using stolen personal information they hacked from the internet, the source reported.

Using the fake cards the gang members spent nearly $2,000 on concert tickets, paid cab drivers, bought food and spent $700 at the American Girl doll store, The Wall Street Journal reported. Brooklyn authorities told the paper that the gang members were testing the boundaries of the stolen cards before moving on to buy other items such as guns to facilitate gang-related activity.

"We're all too familiar with the cost of violent crime in our community," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told The Wall Street Journal. "I think we might be less familiar with the cost of these financial crimes. We now understand that our fight against violent crime requires us to tackle financial fraud as well."

There are several things retailers can do to help prevent fraud before it gets out of hand. Here is a list of suspicious activity retailers should keep an eye out for when making credit card transactions.

  • A customer is making seemingly random purchases without considering the price of the items.
  • If a customer makes a purchase and the name on the receipt doesn't match the name on the credit card they swiped.
  • One of the biggest warning signs of fraud is if a person cannot provide matching identification to the card they are using to pay for their items.

It is important for retailers to invest in a high-quality card payment processor because a store's liability increases if credit card information is entered manually rather than through a point-of-sale machine, according to Loss Prevention Media.

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