Gas Station Attendant Busted For Re-Using Customers' Credit Card Numbers

A 23-year-old gas station attendant in Massachusetts has been charged with identity theft after a customer noticed that her card was used to make additional purchases a few hours after she’d been at the station. The attendant told his employers that the customer had come back to buy gift cards for her nephew, but police say the employee wrote down the card number and expiration date.

“The customers came in and evidently he took down their credit card number and expiration date,” said Jim McDonald, manager of the gas station. “He was working with another employee. When the other employee left at 9 p.m. he bought himself three prepaid debit cards and since he had the credit card number and expiration date, he could manually enter it.”

McDonald said Saumur bought one $100 card, and two $50 cards.

“Gas Attendant Accused Of ID Theft” [MSNBC]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. KingPsyz says:

    My girlfriend was hit much harder at a local gas station a few months back.

    She stopped to purchase some cigarettes for her friend with her debit card.

    Within 24 hours her account was emptied and racking up fees for overdraft. Luckily BofA lets you see times of transactions and we could see that someone was at a ATM in a North Las Vegas 7-11 11:45pm, 3:30am, and again at 7:15am. The person on the phone might have blown her off if it wasn’t for the fact that someone was trying to withdrawl money at the same time she was trying to find out where her money was going.

    The sad part is we laid all this valluable information at the feet of Las Vegas Metro officers, providing times, and already speaking with the 7-11 manager who said they would gladly hand over tapes of those time frames as well as the ATM’s internal camera.

    We even offered to ID the employees and location of the last time that card was used to see if they had a card reader in their possesion.

    Needless to say the police did absolutely nothing so if you’re in Vegas do not pay with anything but Cash at Green Valley Grocery stores.

  2. CurbRunner says:

    Gee… such a major crime story has apparently qualified for cyberspace distribution on the Consumerist. I’ll bet all the execs that are out there committing white collar crimes right now will love this distraction.

  3. sprocket79 says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: Almost that exact same thing happened to me, except BofA was a lot nicer. The police were friggin’ useless though. I found out that the people who stole my card went to a Jack in the Box drive thru and that there was a security camera that monitors the drive thru. I called the manager, told them what happened and asked them to save the tape for the police. I call the police and practically giftwrap the criminal for them and they do NOTHING about it. So it’s not just Vegas, it’s EVERYWHERE.

  4. KingPsyz says:

    BofA was actually very nice, but I know without some kind of proof it would have been much harder.

  5. KingPsyz says:

    @CurbRunner:

    It’s actually something that should be reported here MORE.

    As the other two people who have posted so far have already noted this is widespread issue that most police agencies won’t bother with UNLESS THE MEDIA IS INVOLVED.

    My case was for several hundred dollars, not $200, and the Police did nothing and we had a mountain of evidence to offer as well.

    People need to know and be reminded to NEVER LET YOUR CARD OUT OF YOUR SIGHT AND NOTE WHERE YOU USE EVERY CARD.

    Sometimes they don’t even need to write it down, card readers seem to be almost unbiquitous now with criminals in minimum wage jobs.

    Hell I wish we could get a daily feature listing locations and numbers of identity and card cloning.

  6. goodkitty says:

    Ditto here too on the useless police part… photos, records, they didn’t care. Even the bank was upset with their lack of response. The only thing the police wanted was to catch someone with a bloody knife. Short of that, you can pretty much do whatever you want (so long as it isn’t speeding) and get away with it. Heaven forbid you have surveillance video of someone smoking a “marijuana cigarette,” then five detectives and the SWAT team gets called in. Maybe anyone who has a card stolen can just say they left their crack pipe taped to it, then the cops will find it in 20 minutes.

  7. KingPsyz says:

    Yeah it’s pretty stunning that the police tell us it’s perfectly okay to steal money as long as you don’t use a weapon…

  8. humphrmi says:

    This has been going on a lot longer than people think. A long time ago I worked at a gas station, mine was one of two caddy-corner across from each other. One night as I’m sitting there bored out of my mind at 2AM, a dozen rollers pull in with lights blazing. They busted the night shift guy for stealing people’s CC’s. This was 1988-ish.

    I did that a a P/T in college and I don’t know anything about gas pumps today with their pay-at-the-pump things, but it occurs to me the less you let humans see your credit card, the safer you are.

  9. humphrmi says:

    @humphrmi: Oh yeah and the cops in this case were the Elk Grove Village police, well known in Suburban Chicago for being tough on crime.

  10. forgottenpassword says:

    Hmmm, after reading some of the experiences with police seemingly not caring about ID/credit card theft …. no wonder it is as rapant as it is.

  11. Buran says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: Me, I no longer carry a debit card, just an ATM card. I already had long since stopped using the debit card I once did have (credit only – eeasier to get your “money” back with credit cards) but now don’t have a card that can be used to empty my account with even if you steal my wallet.

  12. lesbiansayswhat says:

    This is so easy..one of my friend’s friends delivered for a chinese restaurant. He had access to cc numbers and was planning on selling the list to someone who then sold the numbers individually to aid in people stealing identities. This guy was so confident that he wouldn’t get caught..something about how the banks would take forever to find out where each card was stolen from..also because it happens all the time.

    This may seem like a small incident but yeah..it’s so easy to steal credit card numbers..just last month mine was stolen when I ordered a computer from HP online and that is supposed to be ridiculously secure.

  13. Coles_Law says:

    I’ll chime in in support of my local police. I had moved a few years back, but apparently the occasional credit card app was still going to the old place. The guy living there had the brilliant idea to send in one of the apps, and despite not having my Social or my mother’s maiden name, they approved him and gave him a $5000 limit. I find out 6 months later, when I get the call from collections. I was able to deactivate the card, but it was another 2 months before the credit card company sent me the list of charges. Even working with an 8 month old trail, the local police called every store, got signatures and one tape of the guy, and nailed him.

  14. Frapp says:

    Wow.. so close to home. The gas station that guy works (worked) at is down the street from my house!

  15. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    This kind of thing will NOT be treated as a serious crime until it costs the banks SERIOUS money.
    You know if was happening to affluent white republicans it would be a major priority.

  16. Falconfire says:

    @doctor_cos: It IS happening to affluent white republicans, its happening to EVERYONE with a credit card. Hate to break it to you, but low income families tend to not have any sort of banking or credit account.

    In october this happened to me from what I figure was a gas station I stopped off at the year previous to then on my way to Baltimore. Chase was super nice about it, sent a new card and paperwork to sign within a week of my calling. The 100 dollars was credited back to my account and from what I was told based on what they could tell me, they where in contact with the police in Virginia and had a idea what happened.

  17. chartrule says:

    i don’t know how often it happens in the states but the goverment of Canada has a a good page if Identity theft happens to you here in Canada

    [www.safecanada.ca]

  18. chartrule says:

    this page has a checklist that can help you reduce the risk of being a victim of Identity theft

    [www.privcom.gc.ca]

  19. Maulleigh says:

    I used to go to a grocery store where they didn’t have any credit card machines but one. You’d give your credit card to the manager and he’d swipe ‘em in. Of course one day he got them all screwed up and I ended up paying for both my groceries and the groceries of someone else. I went back and they knew what had happened and gave me a refund. But still.

    Bad times!

  20. KingPsyz says:

    wow ghetto much? what kind of grocery store can’t afford more than one machince?

    I’m glad they took care of you but NEVER EVER, NEVER EVER, LET SOMEONE TAKE YOUR CREDIT CARD AWAY FROM YOU OR OUT OF YOUR SIGHT!

    That’s the one benifit of those RFID Credit Cards and Jack in the Box. I wish more retailers with drive thrus would put the swipe machine in the customer’s reach and offer RFID access to those who have the service.

    The less hands on your cards, the better.

  21. bohemian says:

    I am assuming they couldn’t do this if your using the card swiper at the pump. Well unless they attached a card reader to it that you might notice.

    The place I really hate using my card is at restaurants and most restaurants have quit taking paper checks.

  22. BugMeNot2 says:

    My credit card number was stolen recently. The theft most likely took place at a restaurant, as the crime had to have been local — and restaurants are the only places where my card goes out of sight. :(

    What happened was someone ordered ONE large item online. The item was shipped to MY house, where UPS promptly left it on my doorstep. Luckily I was home and got the package. I was able to return it for a full refund.

    My theory is that the criminal steals a bunch of local credit cards, orders items with them online, has the items shipped to the victims, tracks the packages online, and drives by and picks up the items if s/he can.

    Very little risk of getting caught from what I can tell.

    What I have started doing is scrapping the 3 digits off of the back of my credit card in the hopes that this makes using my card online a little more difficult.

    For my own online transactions, I use the card company’s random one-time-use card numbers.

    On a related note, in a nearby city there was a rash of UPS theft — people stealing packages off of doorsteps. UPS noticed this and set up a sting. They caught one guy, but after that, packages were still being stolen off of doorsteps. So, you takes your chances!

  23. KingPsyz says:

    Jesus, whoever hit you was kinda too smart to be doing petty theft.

    It is the perfect crime, if you get it you can just send it back and say you never ordered it. If he gets there while tracking said package and gets there before you he wins and you’ll have a hell of a time disputing that charge since it went to your house and all…

    BTW, how the fuck would they know your address? Did they take away your ID with the card when you paid?

  24. KingPsyz says:

    Sorry, that came off a little rough towards you, and I’m more agrivated that people have to steal from those of us who work for a living.

    I ment to say how wold they figure out your address short of taking your ID?

  25. BugMeNot2 says:

    Very easy. Again, my theory: They steal a bunch of credit card numbers along with the 3 digits on the back — not a problem at a restaurant. Then they look up the names online — all local victims, very little guess work. Yellow Pages is a easy source, but there is also plenty of home property records easily accesible online.

    To elaborate on my theory a little further — let’s say the person wanted one specific item. Just go online and order the same item from three or four or five sellers, shipped to different victims. Track the packages online and pick up. If the criminal gets one, great. More than one? eBay profit!!

    Yes, fortunately I WAS able to get to the package first. When I contacted the online store, they were extremely unhelpful UNTIL they learned that I actually had the merchandise in hand. Once they heard that, they told me stuff like this happens, just ship it back for a refund, etc…

    Ohh, and yes, I closed the credit card. :)

    I thought it was a clever scheme, too. That UPS package theft in the nearby city — the guy that caught physically followed the UPS truck, and he can’t even tell what he’s stealing! Dumb ass. ;)

  26. KingPsyz says:

    HOLY SHIT

    I’m pretty lucky here in Vegas I have had UPS and FedEX both leave high end items on my doorstep after demanding personal delivery only.

    Of course for little crap like an empty shipping box they make sure I’m home. But when I had a set of turntables delivered that were supposed to come to my workplace and instead went to the front stoop of my apartment facing a busy city street for 8 hours… well I am damned lucky nobody took those.

    Then I had a laptop delivered form Dell and I spoke with Dell and UPS both demanding that they only deliver to someone and not leave it there, and because I love within 5 minutes of the airports UPS bay to get it in the morning.

    Instead they first time left my laptop on the floor of the shipping center for a day and wouldn’t let me come get it myself. Then the next monday they PASSED MY HOME and didn’t come back until 5pm and LEFT THE LAPTOP ON THE GROUND. I luckily arrived shortly afterwards and when I opened the box the laptop was about 100 degrees.

    Sorry /end rant.

  27. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    Um, why is he being charged with identity theft in the first place? He didn’t steal anyone’s identity. He fraudulently used a credit card. He should be charged with credit card fraud or theft. The customer’s identity was never used or compromised.

  28. SaraAB87 says:

    Has anyone else been watching that court TV show, “The Real Hustlers”, if anything it will teach you a million ways you can get your credit card numbers stolen. Basically DON”T LET THAT CREDIT CARD OUT OF YOUR HANDS! Don’t let the waiter or waitress take it. Basically what they do is they have an illegal credit card skimmer attached to their shoe or apron or somewhere else on the body, which you the customer will not notice, when you give them the card to pay for the bill, they swipe the card on the skimmer and it beams all the information to a friends cell phone who is sitting at a close by table. There are a variety of ways to set this up but it happens all too often, it gets even worse when the waitress or waiter walks away with the card to go to the register.

  29. forgottenpassword says:

    @BugMeNot2:

    “scraping off the three numbers on the back of the card”

    THAT is not a bad idea! Would prevent someone from using your card to make online/telephone orders at least! I think I will do that! (and keep the three numbers on file on my cellphone).

  30. KingPsyz says:

    *note to self* when stealing Forgottenpassword’s credit cards, be sure to grab his cell phone too. maybe I can open a few lines on his account while I’m at it…*/note to self*

  31. TheoryofTruth says:

    I’ll let you guys know, don’t shop at 7-11. Most places do the little XXXX out of your numbers except the last few well 7-11 does not. Most places XXXX them out even inside office paperwork and the computer just handles it. 7-11 it prints off on your receipt and on the little copy machine right next to most of the registers also in plain view of customers.

    I know this because sis-in-law’s sister worked there and she actually would take people’s card numbers and write herself money orders. My sis-in-law was actually the one who turned her in because she knew the manager personally and the manager was talking about “Oh someone has been writing money orders with customers credit cards, like this one for 6853 dollars.” Not for sure on the amount but it was the exact amount that the sis-in-law had just gotten from her sister as repayment of a loan she took out for her sister. Yeah confusing but you get the idea.

  32. FightOnTrojans says:

    To everyone complaining about the police not doing anything even though video evidence exists: Fat lotta good the video will do them unless someone can IDENTIFY the person on the video! They used YOUR credit card, so for all intents and purposes, it is you. I had my wallet stolen a couple years back, and the detective actually drove around and got all the video tapes from all the places the bozos used my cards at. She let me see them. I didn’t know who those people were. Neither did the detective. Neither did any of the detective’s co-workers (there’s only about 10 million people in the LA metropolitan area). I can’t even try to imagine how difficult that might be in a city like Vegas. So… what do you expect them to do with your “gift-wrapped” videotape?

  33. KingPsyz says:

    I expect them to do their fucking job, you know the one my tax dollars pay for…

    If I tell them where they find video of the person who commited the crime, and the likely location of the person responsible then it’s up to them to fill in the blanks.

    Otherwise it’s time to disband the police and go back to vigalante justice.

  34. AuntNi says:

    @goodkitty: Re: police being more interested in catching violent criminals. Yeah, identity theft truly sucks, but I’d rather lose a couple hundred dollars than get stabbed. The police have limited resources, and probably have to pick their battles.

    @BugMeNot2: Your story is wild! I’m too dumb/lazy to be a criminal. I’d never jump through all those hoops to steal stuff.

  35. sprocket79 says:

    @FightOnTrojans: Well, in my case they went through a drive-thru. The video would have had their license plate on it. So that’s the “fat lotta good” the video would do.

  36. sprocket79 says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: I bet Forgottenpassword has some secure software like SplashID on his phone. I have it on my desktop because I don’t have a smartphone and it’s wonderful. Plus, I know the people who own SplashData and know for a fact that it’s secure.

  37. thatgirlinnewyork says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: This has happened to me twice, and no one–the police, banks, or retailers has a vested interest in protecting any of us from further fraud.

    The credit/banking industry in the U.S. could curb this by simply making every credit card transaction (including debit cards used like credit cards) subject to entering one’s secret code. For online transactions, the code can be entered on an encrypted basis. This practice is in use in many ex-U.S. countries, and it affords far more fraud protection than swipe/sign transactions.

    However, given that consumers are the only ones that pay for this fraud (via higher interest and transaction rates), there’s no incentive to improve the technology on our behalf.

  38. LiaMilda says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz:

    I made a reservation last week at an RV park in San Diego, CA. This week I
    started having packages delivered to my residence. It was all small
    stuff.and all just total crap. I have been signed up for makeup clubs,
    Columbia house – someone actually took the time to select music and
    everything, computer software, children’s products. One of the companies
    gave me the ip address from where the order originated on-line and it was
    San Diego. Some of the companies have been jerks about the whole thing
    asking why someone would bother doing that, and all the information matched
    perfectly with the card information (including my phone number!) so I would
    have to pay for the charges. I believe the whole thing started with my
    reservation ..where they have all my personal information and my credit
    card number.