CARY — Police have charged two men they think created false credit cards and gift cards as part of an international fraud scheme.
Police arrested Amadou Balde of Bronx, N.Y., and Sheik U. Fofanah of Lansdowne, Penn., on March 28 after they were alerted by a salesperson at Macys in Cary that Fofanah had used a false gift card to buy merchandise from the store, according to Cary police Capt. Mike Williams.
Fofanah presented what looked like a Visa gift card, and when the cashier entered the card information, it was registered as a Discover credit card, according to police. Balde waited in a car outside the store during the transaction.
Both men were each charged with felony counts of conspiracy, possession of counterfeit instruments, obtaining property under false pretenses and financial transaction credit card fraud.
The bust at Macys led to the discovery of a larger operation the men had been a part of since at least March 3, according to court documents.
While living in a Comfort Suites Hotel on N.C. 55 in Durham, the two used equipment to alter the magnetic strips on credit cards, then assigned stolen credit card numbers to them. The two would use the cards to buy merchandise they housed in a warehouse and would then ship and sell through another person, whose name has not been released yet, said Williams.
Police have found evidence that the men used more than 150 false cards. Some of the cards had the same numbers, and it is unknown how many cardholders were victims in the case, said Williams.
The men were not getting the credit card numbers from anyone locally, said Williams. He said the investigation extends outside the United States and is not complete.