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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Man spills beans on credit card scam, police say.

By David Ibata
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In a case with lessons for consumers about protecting their identities, a 19-year-old Lawrenceville man who was caught allegedly trying to use a bogus debit card at an electronics store has spelled out for police how such scams works, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Fulton County , Sheriff's Office Christian Ry Cangeopol, 19, of Lawrenceville was charged with financial transaction card fraud after he allegedly tried to use a fraudulent debit card to buy an Apple Macbook computer at an electronics store in Milton.

"He's finding mass amounts of credit card information, loading them onto these cards, and going out to make their purchases,” Capt. Shawn McCarty of the Milton Police Department told Channel 2 about the suspect, Christian Ry Cangeopol.

The investigation began last Wednesday evening, when Cangeopol tried to use a Visa “1-2-3 Rewards” debit card to buy an Apple Macbook computer at the Fry’s Electronics store at 3065 Webb Road in Milton, according to a police incident report.

The store called police after an employee noticed the card displayed one account number, but a different number came up when it was run through a card reader, police said.

When arrested and questioned by investigators, police said, Cangeopol told them how the scheme worked: He bought a credit card reader/writer off eBay, bought “dumps” or stolen credit card information off the Internet, and obtained loadable gift cards from a local Kroger.

Then, he went shopping. Cangeopol allegedly admitted he used the bogus gift cards at BP, Shell, Kroger, Wendy’s, KFC and McDonald’s locations around Gwinnett County.

When arrested, the man told police he was wearing a $70 shirt from Express and a $15 undershirt from Walmart that he purchased using fraudulent cards. Police made him surrender the garments,which were placed into evidence. The suspect also said he used fake cards to buy a $12 pair of sandals, $7 beanie and $25 in cologne from Express, police said.

Police said they seized from Cangeopol’s 1995 Nissan Maxima items including four Visa debit cards, three KPF Valued Customer cards, one Skylight Visa Debit card, two cell phones, an Apple Macbook Pro laptop computer, a credit card reader/writer and $657 cash. Police also impounded the Nissan.

Police charged Cangeopol with financial transaction card fraud and possession of financial transaction card forgery devices. He was booked into Fulton County Jail on Thursday and released the next day on $30,000 bond, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

Efforts by Channel 2 to reach Cangeopol for comment were unsuccessful.

The lesson for consumers, McCarty said, is to "stay on top of your [credit account] information. Pay attention to charges on your cards."strong>

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