Credit card thefts reported to Gladstone police
CREDIT card fraud is on the rise in Central Queensland and police are warning residents to remain vigilant, with one alleged criminal racking up $980 in purchases in just 150 minutes.
Gladstone police Detective Sergeant Wayne Butcher said a number of people in the past week had their credit cards stolen from cars or homes, or lost their wallet.
“With the Tap-and-Go facilities on these cards now, if they happen to fall into the wrong hands and the wrong people get hold of these cards, they just go on a spending spree,” he told 4CC radio.
“Last week we had a guy who got a card from a car and used it 14 times.
“Luckily for us he went to every business in town which had fantastic CCTV.
“We had one the other day that got up to about $980 in about two and a half hours.”
Police followed up on the incidents and were able to arrest the man based on CCTV footage.
In another incident, a credit card which was lost on Hanson Road last weekend was fraudulently used.
“Clearly a juvenile used it at a State High tuckshop and McDonalds and the like,” Det Sgt Butcher said.
“So we’ll follow up on them.”
With Tap-and-Go facilities at most businesses, Det Sgt Butcher said it had become easy for fraud to be committed with credit or even debit cards.
“It’s just so easy now with Tap-and-Go and no PIN number for under $200,” he said.
“So they can virtually go on a crime wave.
“Luckily for us most of the businesses who are using the Tap and Go facility have got really good CCTV and it doesn’t take us too long to get hold of them (offenders).”
Snr Sgt Butcher encouraged residents to be mindful of where their credit cards and other valuables were at all times.
“Be more mindful and make sure you lock your motor vehicles, and make sure you secure your possessions,” he said.
“These people are out there and they are going to go and use it and abuse it.
“It finally gets reported stolen and the card gets cancelled.”
Any resident of the region who is aware of any crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and they might even be rewarded.
“Ring Crimestoppers, it's a very important tool to us,” Det Sgt Butcher said.
“It’s all anonymous, we get some very good results from it and you can get paid from it.”