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Parts departments focus of scammer, who gets $4,873 from one

November 6, 2015
A woman approached at least two area dealerships this fall in pursuit of vehicle parts and was involved in the use of a fraudulent credit card at one of the stores to steal parts worth more than $4,800.
The woman reportedly approached one of the dealerships on Oct. 8, but the dealership stopped the transaction after her card could not be swiped in its card reader machine. Three days later, she went to another dealership, but the banks of the two credit cards she offered denied the transactions. She returned to the second store a couple days later with a man who offered his credit card for the parts.
When the man’s card similarly failed to swipe, the dealership manually entered the card numbers, and the pair left with parts totaling $4,873. Later in October, the second dealer was informed that the bank was denying payment for the parts, citing fraud.
The woman is described as African-American with shoulder length hair, 30 to 35 years old, and between five feet six inches and five feet eight inches. The man, also African-American, is 40 to 45 years old, stands five feet nine inches to six feet, and has a shaved head.
Dealers should be aware of the recent deadline for merchants to switch from equipment that swipes the magnetic strip of credit and debit cards to equipment that reads cards with chip-embedded security. Since Oct. 1, those merchants who continue using the older equipment assume liability for all transactions that are found to be fraudulent.
The office manager of the victimized dealership said her store has the new equipment, but it was not used because the card presented for payment did not have an embedded chip.