By: Kevin Thomas ~Staff Writer~
Terell Lee was arrested in early December of 2016 and charged with stealing around $3,360 from Xavier through the usage of stolen credit cards.
Xavier’s attempts to gain reimbursement from the credit card companies were unsuccessful, according to WCPO Cincinnati. Lee, 28, allegedly stole the credit cards from June to October of 2016.
Lee is currently on trial for theft, and because of the open nature of the court case, information regarding it cannot be discussed by any of the parties involved.
However, it was revealed that there had been an investigation into several departments in the university as well as agencies both in Hamilton and Butler Counties.
According to Sergeant Adrian Fuller of the Xavier University Police Department (XUPD), there are two main types of credit card fraud on the rise: credit card skimming and phishing.
“Credit card skimming is when a person installs an extra device on a credit card swipe machine, generally an outdoor ATM or a gas pump,” Fuller said.
The device records all of the information stored on the card, which then allows for the information to be utilized however the thief so pleases.
Machines that have been tampered with by credit card skimmers can be identified by loose parts.
“Before you swipe your card anywhere, jiggle the parts where you’re gonna swipe it,” Fuller said. “If any of the parts are loose, don’t swipe.”
Phishing is more well-known than credit card skimming and occurs when a person receives a phone call from someone claiming to be from a bank or government organization, saying that there is an issue with that person’s credit card, a warrant out for arrest or something in that same vein.
The individual on the phone claims that the issue can easily be solved by a wire transfer.
Fuller says that the best solution to this is to hang up, as all official communication would come from a person knocking on the door, a uniformed police officer or direct communication from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Credit card fraud can be discovered by a phone call from the bank, claiming that something suspicious has appeared on an account, and should not require a giving out of information over the phone.
“If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of credit card theft, immediately call your bank,” Fuller said. “They have amazing fraud resources.”
However distant credit card theft may seem, it doesn’t just occur on the media, and there have been past incidents of it occurring to Xavier students, with reports in the past concerning potential phishing attempts and scams.
“(Credit card fraud) is here as well as in the mainstream media,” Fuller said. “It’s happening everywhere.”