Billings police have identified persons of interest in a recent credit card fraud scheme and say the activity should cease, although no arrests have been made.
The three persons of interest are from Florida, according to an update the Billings Police Department posted on Facebook early Wednesday afternoon.
The department believes the Floridians recruited locals to withdraw money from ATMs, the post states. The group was likely using a credit card skimmer, which collects card numbers and PINs, and was then using the cloned card information at gas station ATMs to withdraw “low amounts,” the department said.
The department declined to specify a dollar range for the ATM withdrawals, or for the total losses in the scheme. It is still processing incoming fraud reports.
“We don’t see this very often up here,” said Lt. Brandon Wooley, of the Billings Police Department. “They’re pretty sophisticated, as far as knowing technology, and the message” used to explain their activity, he said.
Since July 1, the department has received “about” 45 fraud reports, the department wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. There were 19 on Monday alone.
While no arrests have been made in the case, the department said the group’s criminal activity in the Billings area has been disrupted. It’s likely the department will identify others involved, it said.
Lt. Brandon Wooley declined to comment on how the group’s activities were disrupted, saying it was an investigative detail he could not release. Asked if some suspects were already in custody on other charges, he said no.
“But their activity being disrupted — we believe there shouldn’t be any more of the same or similar credit card fraud going forward,” Wooley said.
Anyone who has yet to report fraudulent activity on their credit card to the Billings Police Department is encouraged to file a report by calling 657-8200.
Anyone who has relevant information, including about those who withdrew money from the ATMs, is asked to contact the investigations division at 657-8473.