Police: Taco Bell employee committed credit card fraud

Police say they've discovered a worker at the drive-through window of a restaurant near The Lakes Mall stole a customer's credit card information and used it to make purchases elsewhere in the Muskegon County area.
Tribune Staff
Jan 23, 2014

The investigation began when a complaint was filed with the Fruitport Township Police Department by a consumer who had discovered multiple unauthorized transactions when reviewing bank account activity. The consumer noted several transactions at the Taco Bell, 5425 Blueberry Lane in Fruitport Township, as well as many additional unauthorized transactions throughout the Muskegon County area.

Police discovered the victim had presented a credit card to the Taco Bell employee at the drive-through window on Jan. 10. It was after that transaction that the unauthorized transactions took place, police said.

While the card was in the employee's possession, the suspect had copied, in writing, the credit card information. The card was then returned to the customer.

The suspect later used this information to conduct multiple transactions at other locations, developing a scheme to overcome objections to accepting a handwritten credit card number, police said.

Fruitport Township police are forwarding their report to the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office for criminal charges.

"Taco Bell management has been very cooperative with the police investigation," said Lt. Bruce Morningstar. "It is clear from the investigation the fraudulent charges are not the result of a sophisticated computer hacking attack of the Taco Bell credit card processing system. These unauthorized transactions appear to be isolated to one particular employee at this time and are not suggestive of any ongoing risks to consumers who conduct business with the Fruitport Taco Bell."

Police are asking those who may have recently conducted business at the Fruitport Taco Bell with a credit card to check their account activity for any unauthorized charges. Suspected fraudulent charges can be reported to the Fruitport Township Police Department by calling 231-865-8477.



One other thing people have to look out for is the swipe method of copying cards. You can purchase little boxes online that you swipe a card through, and it stores the info on the card. You then go home to a PC with a card writer attached, get a blank green dot card or get some blank cards from online, write the info to it with the card writer, make a couple other changes (printing the correct numbers and expiration date on the card, etc... Which can be done with a cheap dye sublimation printer), and viola! You have a functioning duplicate card that you can use at any store at least a few times.

Obviously I left out a bit, but I just wanted to show how rediculously easy it is to steal and clone a credit card.

The initial swipe can be be done by cashiers without you even noticing (the boxes look like they belong at the cash register).

Its pretty freaking scary and I typically do not use my card unless I have full view of what is being done. You also have to watch out for skimmers on ATM's and gas pumps.

Additionally, only use the credit option and not debit; it protects you if funds do get stolen.

EDIT: I should say that the reason I know this, is because somebody I used to work with back on the east side of the state got busted for doing this very thing shortly before I moved over here. I am willing to bet they have more advanced methods now. Just be careful who you give your cards to, especially when you are not within clear sight of them.


I could not get over cashiers taking numbers on a scrap paper and processing a sale with it...how dumb was that?


Credit card companies do not always rescind charges that could be, under some circumstances, considered fraudulent. If you choose to charge a large amount with a company that does not provide the product or service you are paying for, the credit card company can uphold the charges. In this situation, your only recourse is to try to recover the money from the company that essentially stole the money from you, which can take years of expensive legal battles. The more expensive the charge, the more likely the credit card company is to fight your efforts to rescind the charge. Source: http://personalmoneynetwork.com/...

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