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Concord police investigating alleged Target fraud, asking for public’s help

  • The Concord police said this man tried to buy a $1,000 gift card from Target using a stolen credit card number.<br/>(Courtesy of the Concord Police Department)

    The Concord police said this man tried to buy a $1,000 gift card from Target using a stolen credit card number.
    (Courtesy of the Concord Police Department)

  • The Concord police said this woman tried to buy a $1,000 gift card from Target using what may have been a stolen credit card number.<br/>(Courtesy of the Concord Police Department)

    The Concord police said this woman tried to buy a $1,000 gift card from Target using what may have been a stolen credit card number.
    (Courtesy of the Concord Police Department)

  • The Concord police said this man tried to buy a $1,000 gift card from Target using a stolen credit card number.<br/>(Courtesy of the Concord Police Department)
  • The Concord police said this woman tried to buy a $1,000 gift card from Target using what may have been a stolen credit card number.<br/>(Courtesy of the Concord Police Department)

The Concord police are investigating an alleged act of fraud last week in which two unknown suspects entered Target and tried to purchase $1,000 gift cards with at least one bogus credit card.

The police are asking the public for any information that might pertain to the alleged incident, which took place Thursday. Officials were later contacted by a local man who said someone had tried to use his Discover card, though the card was still in his possession, police spokesman Timothy O’Malley said. O’Malley, said it’s probable that someone acquired information on the card and made a duplicate.

The store’s surveillance footage linked the attempted transaction to a dark-skinned man wearing a black hoodie and a two-tone athletic jacket with black leather sleeves. The card he used was declined, though it’s unclear why, O’Malley said.

Within minutes, a second suspect, this one a dark-skinned woman with bronze highlights and carrying a large brown leather bag, tried to purchase a gift card of the same value with a different card, the police said. Her card, which the police have yet to determine was stolen, was similarly declined, the police said.

Though the suspects entered the store separately, the police believe they are linked because they were seen returning to the same vehicle in the parking lot, O’Malley said. He added it’s possible that the pair is operating or will operate in surrounding communities.

O’Malley said gift cards are commonly used by thieves to hide stolen funds. Often, they’ll purchase a card fraudulently and then sell it on the black market for half the value, he said.

O’Malley also noted an unrelated gift card hustle that seems to be rising in popularity and that Concord police officials have heard accounts of recently. In that scheme, he said, thieves swipe gift card packages from a store, replace the cards inside with used ones and then return the tampered packages to the rack. When a customer later purchases the compromised package, the stolen cards – those now in the thieves’ possession – are activated.

Anyone with information about last week’s alleged crime is encouraged to contact the Concord Regional Crimeline at 226-3100, visit concordregionalcrimeline.com or text CRIMES (274637) with TIP234 in their message. Tips remain anonymous, and cash rewards are available for those that lead to an arrest.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

Legacy Comments1

Nice surveillance photos.

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