(Source: By Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, Minneapolis (MCT) – A scheme to skim credit and debit card numbers from customers at a Rosedale Center food court restaurant is responsible for about $100,000 in bogus charges, Roseville police said Thursday.
Police are publicizing the case in hopes that they will hear from diners who used a credit or debit card at the Chinese Gourmet Express.
Lt. Lorne Rosand said it does not appear any restaurant employees were part of the scheme, suspecting the thievery happened off-site.
The card information was used all around the country for fraudulent purchases that were modest, making them less likely to be detected by the cardholder.
The charges “are popping up all over the country,” Rosand said, “like $87 at a Wal-Mart in Texas — stuff that really doesn’t catch your attention.”
Authorities first learned of the scheme in May, when mall employees complained to police that their cards were being used throughout the United States, even though they had their cards with them.
Soon after, banks and credit unions alerted detectives to customers having their cards misused, with the common factor being that all of the customers had recently charged a purchase at the Chinese Gourmet Express, Rosand said.
On June 21, investigators confiscated restaurant business receipts, cell phones, computer equipment, surveillance imaging and a credit card machine for further forensic examination.
Also, the restaurant’s corporate office told Roseville’s lead detective that its executives became aware of a computer breach about two weeks earlier, involving the theft of customer credit and debit card information but they had yet to notify law enforcement.
Roseville police said that Chinese Gourmet Express customers who had their cards compromised after eating there between March 1 and June 1 should call them at 651-792-7297.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
©2012 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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