Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Applebee's waitress arrested in credit card scam


LAKEWOOD, Wash. – Police have arrested an Applebee's waitress for stealing customers' credit card numbers. Eight victims have been identified and police are still looking for three other suspects involved in the operation.

Police are telling customers who ate at the Lakewood Applebee's during the holiday season to take a good look at their credit card bills. They say the waitress skimmed some customers' credit cards.

"Somewhere between taking the credit card, running it to pay for the meal and returning the credit card, she would slide the card through what is called a skimmer. It's a little electronic device that can be palmed easily and hidden easily, and what that device would do would copy all the information that's on the magnetic strip on the back of the credit cards," said Sgt. Mike Zaro, Lakewood Police. "Something like this takes seconds to swipe a card through a skimmer and steal all of your information."

The waitress allegedly passed those numbers on to three men who made false credit cards.

Surveillance video from a Spanaway Wal-Mart shows a man who police say bought a game system using a fraudulent credit card obtained through the scam. More surveillance video from the Lakewood Wal-Mart shows two men buying a flat-screen TV with another phony credit card.

If you recognize the suspects or ate at the Lakewood Applebee's between December and January and you notice something wrong with your credit card bill, contact Lakewood Police.

The waitress and three other suspects are being investigated for felony identity theft, forgery and fraud.

No comments: