Date:   Jan 28, 2015

Victoria, BC – VicPD is warning retailers to be on the lookout for a scam in which young men are purchasing gift cards using prepaid credit cards.

There have been several instances in the last month where young men, in their late teens to early twenties, are travelling to Greater Victoria from the Mainland with large numbers of pre-paid credit cards. These men then attend retail outlets and coffee shops where they use the pre-paid credit cards to purchase gift cards. The information from the pre-paid credit cards turns out to be fraudulently obtained.

The purchases themselves are notable as the sheer numbers of pre-paid credit card to gift card purchases in a single transaction raised suspicion. Often, when one or more fraudulent pre-paid credit cards were declined, the young men would simply reach into their pockets to produce more pre-paid cads. Additionally, these young men are targeting large chain retailers and coffee shops. Employees and managers of these retailers should be aware of the ongoing frauds and should consider ensuring that all staff are aware.

“Given that these fraudsters are targeting stores in many communities in Greater Victoria, we are working with our partners at Saanich Police, Oak Bay Police, Central Saanich Police Service and the RCMP to identify and arrest these individuals,” said Chief Constable Frank Elsner. “Working together is the only way that we can protect everyone, customers and retailers alike, from these types of scams.”

If you are within Victoria and come across one of these young scam artists in action, call 911.