How many times have you handed over your credit card at a fast-food joint and never thought twice about the security of your identity? Here’s some news that might give you pause — an employee at a Wendy’s in Washington state has been charged with using a card skimmer to steal the identities of 135 customers and racking up around $75,000 in fraudulent charges on those accounts.
The investigation into the ID thefts began last October when a credit union reported to authorities that they had linked card violations to a Wendy’s in Tukwila, WA. The case ultimately led to one particular employee, who police say was using a card skimmer to copy customers’ credit card info for her own use. A skimmer was found on her person when she was arrested on July 21.
Along with the Wendy’s worker, two male accomplices have been arrested after both were caught using forged cards made from skimmed info.
When police searched the suspect’s property, they found 14 Playstation 3 consoles, several skimmers, a credit card encoder and credit card stock.
While the number of compromised accounts current stands at 135, authorities think there is more to come:
We expect this number to rise exponentially as we have also received data from Wendy’s showing that [the suspect] has personally served approximately 2,000 customers between September 2009 through January 2010.
She has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree identity theft, nine counts of second-degree identity theft and two counts of unlawful factoring, the crime of unlawfully copying a credit card.
Charge: Fast-food worker stole 130+ identities in id theft ring [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]