SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio – South Euclid police are asking for help tracking down suspects in what police are calling a skimming operation.
Skimming is a type of card theft where thieves steal your card information, then sell it or use it to make fraudulent purchases.
Police say on February 17, a man, who asked to only be identified as Mike, received an alert on his phone from his bank that there was suspicious activity on his debit card.
“It’s terrible. I was having a good time at the Q downtown. It was really a buzz kill to the night. I was angry about it,” Mike said.
Officers responded to Walmart on Warrensville Center Road, where the phony purchase had been made.
Police say two men used Mike’s credit card information to buy two 65 inch LG TVs spending over $1,600.
Surveillance cameras showed the men waiting on cell phones in the front of the store where they were picked up in two cars, one was a silver GMC Terrain SUV, the other was a white Wolkswageon Passat or Jetta.
The suspects also bought several years worth of extended warranties.
“The officer thought initially he might have a break in the case. He contacted the warranty company to see if the individuals had set up their information for that warranty, but unfortunately they hadn’t at that time,” said South Euclid Public Information Officer Joe DiLillo.
Police believe Mike was the victim of credit card skimming, unfortunately neither Mike nor the authorities know where it happened.
“Where it was skimmed, how it was skimmed and how they obtained that information is information we don’t have yet,” said DiLillo.
Luckily, Mike had taken precautions before this scam. He set up the alerts, asking his bank to email him anytime there’s a purchase of $250 or more. Because of the bank’s alert he was able to shut down his credit card before the suspects continued with their shopping spree at his expense.
Mike said his bank refunded the money spent by the thieves.
“I hope that these guys get busted before they continue to do this to anybody else,” Mike said.
Police are working to identify the suspects. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call South Euclid Police Department at (216)381-1234.