Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Credit cards stolen from the mail and used for fraud

Wednesday April 13, 2011
Credit cards stolen from the mail and used for fraud
By AUSTIN CAMOENS
austin@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of seven postmen intercepted letters containing credit cards, switched the microchips of the cards with fake ones and then delivered them to the applicants.

The postmen, with the help of other syndicate members, then used the cards with the original microchips to go on a spending spree.

The syndicate that has been operating since 2009 chalked up close to RM1mil in purchases.

City deputy police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) Datuk Amar Singh said police got wind of the syndicate after they arrested one of its members in the act of stealing a credit card at the Shamelin post office last week.

“The postmen would intercept the new credit cards in the mail and switch the microchips with fake ones before repacking the mail and sending them to the applicants,” he told a press conference at the Cheras police headquarters yesterday.

SAC Amar said the syndicate also had the help of a National Registration Department (NRD) officer who supplied them with the names of the mothers of the real credit card applicants.

The names would be needed to activate the cards.

He added that the syndicate members would then go on a spending spree before the applicant reports the unauthorised use of the cards.

“After questioning the suspect, we arrested the rest of the syndicate, including the NRD officer, and seized 10 credit cards and credit card letters.

“The syndicate had racked up between RM500,000 and RM1mil in credit card charges for purchases of luxury items including electronic goods,” he said.

He added that police had already connected the syndicate to 11 cases within the Klang Valley, but believe that they were involved in many more cases.

SAC Amar said the case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for fraud.

“We are also in talks with banks and credit card companies to find a more fool-proof way to get credit cards to the rightful owners in future,” he said.

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