Collaborative work between investigators from the Direction de la police de Trois-Rivières and the Sûreté du Québec brought to light a network of fraudsters, whose criminal activities were directed towards point-of-sale terminals (POS) traders.
An operation bringing together investigators from the Trois-Rivières Police Department and the Sûreté du Québec took place early on December 10. Armed with arrest warrants, the police went to residences in greater Montreal as well as in Laval, in order to arrest the eight suspects.
Seven people have been arrested. The individuals, a woman and six men aged between 19 and 21, were taken to various police stations to be met by investigators. The suspects will be charged with theft over $ 5,000 as well as possession and use of counterfeit credit cards.
The crimes took place between the months of December 2019 and July 2020.
In total, no less than 300 frauds that resulted in monetary losses totaling more than $ 100,000 were committed by eight suspects. They are part of a network of fraudsters based in the Montreal area.
The crimes affected traders in some thirty cities in Quebec. The fraudsters were in possession of credit cards obtained following the identity theft of several victims and targeted businesses associated with the financial institution Desjardins. The suspects visited convenience stores, cell phone shops, electronics stores as well as jewelry stores.
The modus operandi involved manipulation of the terminal by fraudsters, which led the merchant to believe that the transaction had indeed been debited from the card, but in fact, the card was put on hold while the receipt issued by the terminal indicated ” approved “. Merchants were informed of the situation when the financial institution contacted them, to mention that the transaction authorization code was not valid.
They will be back on February 16, 2021, at the Trois-Rivières courthouse for further proceedings.