YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Police have discovered what they believe is a large-scale network of credit card scammers who’ve been operating in Emerson, Westwood, River Edge, Waldwick and Wyckoff, thanks to a Wyckoff pharmacy employee whose call led to the arrests of two Long Island women.
Both were released from the Bergen County Jail after quickly posting 10% of their bail, which was $100,000 and $50,000. Whether they return to the county to face the charges is an open question.
The worker called Wyckoff police Wednesday afternoon and told them that one of the pair was trying to buy Visa gift cards with a bogus credit card at the pharmacy, Chief Benjamin Fox said.
She took off with the other woman while store personnel were checking the card, he said.
The chief and a group of his officers found them in a nearby Stop & Shop moments later after their car was spotted in the parking lot, Fox said.
Arrested were two Long Island women: Natasha C. Leverette, 26, of Roosevelt, and Tanisha V. Lawson, 27, of Hempstead.
They were carrying 28 fraudulent credit cards and a fraudulent driver’s license — all in the name of “Toni Smith” — and Visa gift cards totaling $10,000, Fox said.
The women are “likely part of a larger credit card fraud syndicate in which they take blank credit cards and emboss numbers into the card,” the chief said. “They then replicate the magnetic strip on the rear that contains real credit card information that has been stolen or fraudulently obtained.”
Runners are then sent out to buy gift cards with the bogus plastic.
“Even when the credit card has been shut down because the rightful owner is aware that it is being used, the gift cards purchased are still valid and are not linked to the credit card,” Fox said.
Wyckoff and Emerson police charged the pair with theft, credit card fraud, receiving stolen property and possession of a fraudulent government document.
Additional charges were expected out of the other towns.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy WYCKOFF PD
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