Several wanted in connection with credit card skimming plot

- Concord police are warning residents after credit card skimmers were found at area gas stations. 

According to Concord police, there has been an increase in identity fraud resulting from customer's debit/credit card information being stolen during purchases made using a card reader. They said the suspects are stealing credit card information by attaching the "skimmer" to the card reader on point of sale items like ATM machines, retail stores, gas pumps, etc. 

"These skimmers look very similar to the card reader they are attached to and are virtually unnoticeable," police said. "Additionally, suspects are now installing these skimmers inside gas pumps and either obtaining the credit card information wirelessly using Bluetooth or coming back at a later time and removing the device to download the information later."

Right now police are looking for Yelenys Paraza, 37, of Miami in connection with crimes. She faces charges of trafficking in stolen identities, unlawful obtaining credit card and obtaining property by false pretense.

Police are also working to identify several individuals who were caught on surveillance video using stolen credit card information linked back to gas stations where some of the skimmers were recovered. 

The Concord Police Department is working with other agencies including the US Secret Service to determine if any other similar incidents have occurred within other jurisdictions.

Police advise that there are several things you can do to keep from becoming a victim:

  • Always monitor your statements and contact your bank or credit card company if you see any suspicious activity on your account.
  • At gas stations, always try to use a pump that is easily visible to the gas station attendant.
  • Notify the gas station attendant if you see anyone opening up any of the pumps.
  • If a card reader looks suspicious, do not use it and notify the owner/police.
  • Look for small cameras near the key pad especially at ATM machines. Try to keep the key pad covered when entering your PIN number. 

Anyone with information on the location of Yelenys Peraza or the identity or location of any of the suspects pictured are asked to contact the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000 or Cabarrus County Crime Stoppers at 704-93-CRIME (704-932-7469) or text 93CRIME.

 

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