After using their credit cards at the Forum shopping center on Peachtree Parkway, a Norcross resident and a Norcross business owner both began seeing fraudulent charges pop up on their bills. The unauthorized charges add up to just over $1,400 in Gwinnett County alone, with additional charges in other counties.
Because of video footage captured at various locations in Gwinnett, Norcross Police believe the same individual is behind the frauds. They are now seeking the public’s help in locating him.
The man, pictured, appears to be a medium-skinned male in his 30s of medium build. In some of the footage captured, he is wearing a black baseball cap and a white sports watch.
There is a mobile scanning device that scammers use to read the magnetic strip on a credit card from afar while you are using it, said Detective Beverly Parnell of the Norcross Police Department. She said that scammers gather the information, then use a computer program to print out a new strip.
They can then put the strip on another card and use it. "They can recode, if you will, a credit card," she said. The name on the credit card receipt does not match the one on the retooled card, but clerks don't often check, said Parnell.
She has even seen cases of credit card rip-off artists putting their devices inside gas pumps, so that information is transferred while you are using a credit or debit card to buy gas.
In April, detectives believe the suspect charged $150 at the Publix at 1250 Tech Drive in Norcross.
In May, just before Labor Day weekend, they believe the suspect purchased $366.65 worth of beer and ice at Assi Plaza on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. He also hit up Wal-Mart at 2635 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth and charged over $200 at Home Depot in Duluth on two separate occasions.
Parnell said that in some cases, the suspect was purchasing gift cards then probably reselling them "for pennies on the dollar."
The victims did report the fraudulent activity to their banks, but because companies often take a few days to process the charges, the suspect was likely able to take home the goods before any red flags were raised.
Parnell said that in this type of case, which she finds quite common, the banks become the victims, since they often eat the costs. This translates into higher rates for everyone.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Beverly Parnell of the Nocross PD at 678-421-2011.