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.