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Restaurant worker ran credit, gift card scam, police say

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Aug 30th, 2013 @ 6:08pm

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PROVO — Police say they have uncovered an elaborate scam that was being carried out by a woman who worked at South Jordan sandwich shop.

The 19-year-old woman took call-in orders from customers at Kneaders Bakery and Cafe, 962 W. South Jordan Parkway, according to Provo Police Lt. Matt Siufanua.

"She would write down the information off of the (caller's) credit card," Siufanua said. "She would then wait for the customer to come into the store, confirm their credit card by looking at it — turning it around and getting the security code — and then she would have the information."

The woman used the information to buy online gift cards worth $1,000.

"She made 66 transactions on multiple cards," Siufanua said. "We don't know how many of the (credit) cards she made transactions with, but there were 66 gift cards printed."

The printed gift cards, which include a verification code, were then sold on at a reduced price, but by then the alarm bells had gone off at the credit card companies, so the gift cards were worthless.

"None of the money was every transferred, so there was never any money on these (gift) cards," Siufanua said.

Police caught up with the woman Thursday, after undercover Provo officers bought one of the bogus gift cards from her, the lieutenant said. She was not arrested and her name was not being released Friday.

Kneaders spokeswoman Caroline Brown said the restaurant chain was aware of the allegations against one of its former employees.

"Our customers' information is of the utmost importance to us," Brown said. "We're in full cooperation with local authorities."

Siufanua said credit card and gift card fraud are crimes police are seeing more and more.

"Kneaders is not alone. I mean, this happens at multiple companies across the United States," he said. "Whenever you put your information out over the phone or on a website, there's always that possibility that someone will get your information."

Anyone who believes their credit card information was stolen by the former Kneaders employee, or anyone who bought a bogus gift card from the woman, should contact their local police department, Siufanua said. Provo police will provide other law enforcement agencies with the information they've collected, he said.

Contributing: Cleon Wall


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