COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Columbus Police Department needs the public’s help identifying suspects in a recent rash of credit card fraud.
According to police, two individuals used a victim’s credit card number to purchase $2,500 worth of gift cards; they were able to make these purchases at a self-checkout.
“They had their cell phones out and they’re punching in the credit card codes,” said Cpl. Jane Edenfield. “My victim said he and his wife both have a card on the account and he said they’ve had their cards the entire time,” she said.
The victim, Alex Rozwadowski, said he was surprised when he when he got the call from his bank.
“I was more shocked when I found that they ran $2,500 worth of gift cards through a self-checkout without even having my credit card,” Rozwadowski said.
Cpl. Edenfield said this is the typical method of operation for Columbus credit card thieves.
“They don’t want confrontation, so if you go through the self-checkout line, you don’t have to deal with a cashier,” Edenfield said.
Rozwadowski said he felt his privacy was exposed.
“I was a little disappointed at the whole system, how easy it was for them to do it,” Rozwadowski said.
Police said this type of crime hits Columbus hard because the city is a “wealth of information.”
“We have a military base here, we have several credit card processing companies here,” Edenfield said. “We have lots of businesses in Columbus that hold, store and use people’s information.”
What Rozwadowski wants out of all of this is simple: “I would like for the criminals to be caught so it doesn’t happen to someone else.”
Cpl. Edenfield said you can prevent these types of crimes from happening.
Whenever possible, pay with cash. Check your bank account often and run a credit report every few months.
Columbus ranks 22nd in the nation for these types of crimes; Georgia ranks number two in the nation as the state with the most fraud complaints.
Last year, 75,523 complaints were filed in Georgia.