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Creedit card fraud at gas station now tops 240 victims, $70,000

January 6, 2011 |  7:44 am

In what authorities are calling a large credit card fraud scheme, detectives said they have identified nearly 250 victims who used their cards at a Sierra Madre gas station.

Officials said the losses now top $70,000 and might extend to a second gas station in the city.

 Police are seeking to question the owner of EVG Quality Gas located at 50 South Baldwin Ave., said Chief Marilyn Diaz of the Sierra Madre Police Department.

Police say 75% of the victims are local residents who used credit cards at the station. Diaz said the fraud scheme does not involve any other stations in the city, and officers have checked for so-called credit card skimmers, which surreptitiously record users' credit card information, on gas station pumps. No skimmers were found.

The first victim reported an identity theft to police Dec. 27 after using her credit card at the station.

By Monday, Sierra Madre police had received more than 175 fraud reports linked to EVG.

Most of the multiple transaction cases involved ATM and retail transactions. Six cases involved six transactions each, and one involved nine transactions.

The highest loss from an individual case was $3,782.

Police are now looking at whether the fraud extended to a Valero gas station in the city.


Massive credit card fraud investigated at Sierra Madre gas station

Credit-card fraud victims who used Sierra Madre gas station reaches 230

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Crime scene tape at EVG Quality Gas in Sierra Madre. Credit: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times