24 December 2008

Latest Credit Card Scam

Photo courtesy of franckieleon
The latest advisory from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has warned the public against a credit card syndicate operating in Metro Manila.

According to Inquirer.net, the warning came following the filing of charges against two people who allegedly tried to steal and falsify a businesswoman's credit card, apparently to be used in making illegal purchases.

Suspects Espero Cabardo, of Twin Pioneer Drive, Don Carlos Village, Pasay City, and one alias Samantha Lopez, were charged with violating Republic Act 8484 (Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998) at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Standard Chartered Bank after preliminary investigation revealed that last 3 December 2008, Elizabeth Cruz, a Standard Chartered Bank credit card holder, received a call from a certain Samantha Lopez, who claimed to be a branch manager of the bank, informing her that her credit limit had been increased.

Cruz was told that a messenger named Andrew Lopez would be claiming her card for a replacement.

However, when she verified with the bank, she was told that her credit limit had not been increased.

Nevertheless, Cruz agreed to let a messenger pick up her credit card "for replacement" on Dec. 5 at Valiant Int’l Traders Corp., in Binondo, Manila.

Unknown to the messenger, who turned out to be Cabardo, Cruz and the bank had already sought the help of the NBI.

Cabardo was arrested by NBI agents as soon as he received the envelope containing Cruz’s credit card from the building security guard.

Seized from him were the Standard and Chartered credit card of Cruz, a letter and identification card bearing the bank's logo, among others. The bank said that Cabardo was not in any way connected to the establishment.

With the expected economic slowdown next year, the public should be more wary than ever against this fraudulent schemes.The latest modus operandi of syndicates just showed how criminal minds are evolving specifically to deprive valid credit card holders of their cards.