Gift card scam robs convenience stores at gas pumps

Gift card scam robs convenience stores at the pumps

CANTON, Miss. (WLBT) - Canton police have a warning for convenience store employees: a new scam is out to take hundreds of dollars at the pumps.

The scheme involves gift and prepaid cards and skimming devices.

"We saw like there is something going on," said Texaco station owner Sukhraj Singh.

Canton Texaco owner Sukhraj Singh tried to confront scammers using gift card and a scanning device at one of his Peace Street locations. Source: WLBT
Canton Texaco owner Sukhraj Singh tried to confront scammers using gift card and a scanning device at one of his Peace Street locations. Source: WLBT

His employees at his two Canton convenience stores on Peace Street suspected something suspicious in July when car after car pulled up to one outer gas pump.

“This guy who’s stopping everyone, there’s five, six cars behind it already, and they all were at one pump,” said Singh. “There were transactions for a hundred dollars, a hundred dollars, a hundred dollars. So they already get over $500 from one pump.”

But when the cars left, there were no records of any transactions, and no money was exchanged.

Canton police later caught three men running the scam.

Thirty-three-year-old Brian Cable, 26-year-old LaDarrius McLaurin and 28-year-old Divinity Nicholas, all of Jackson, are charged with conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and possession of a scanning device.

Investigators found 200 gift and prepaid cards, of which one suspect said he paid $300.

Lt. Terence Ware with the Canton Police Department said the gift prepaid card and skimmer scam is new to law enforcement in the area. Source: WLBT
Lt. Terence Ware with the Canton Police Department said the gift prepaid card and skimmer scam is new to law enforcement in the area. Source: WLBT

“They’ll use some type of device to get access to the pump to open the pumps up and once the pumps open, when people pull up they’ll ask them if they want the full tank of gas for $20 or whatever denomination they choose,” said Canton Police Lieutenant Terence Ware.

The convenience store owner said they lost more than $700 at the two locations.

Federal authorities are working with the Canton Police Department.

According to investigators, scammers use the cards’ magnetic strips to re-encode it with stolen credit card numbers.

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