Two women who worked at a McDonald’s restaurant near N.C. State University were charged Tuesday with skimming customers’ credit-card information when the people used the restaurant’s drive-thru window.
Police arrested Mecca Nicole Tomlinson, 20, of 712 Lunar Drive in Raleigh a short ways from the McDonald’s at 3710 Western Blvd.
They arrested Constance Katrair Alston, 41, of 603 Branniff Drive in Cary at the restaurant.
Each woman was charged with five counts of identity theft. Each also was charged with single counts of using a scanning device to steal credit card information, criminal possession of financial transaction cards and financial card forgery.
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According to arrest warrants, the State Employees Credit Union was able to determine that five of its customers’ cards were compromised shortly after they were used at the McDonald’s on Aug. 13 and 15.
The warrants listed the offenses as happening between Aug. 13 and Tuesday, however.
They said the investigation did not end with Tuesday’s arrests. It began, detectives said, after a representative of the franchisee who operates the McDonald’s contacted police about suspicions of illegal activity by the two employees.
The arrest warrants list the same five victims for each woman’s charges and accuse the two of using the cloned information to spend a total of $535 from the victims’ accounts.
Some of the purchases, police wrote, were for four $50 gift cards. Because they are prepaid, gift cards do not generate the paper trails that credit and debit cards do when they are used for purchases.
Detectives who investigate fraud always urge consumers to check their credit card and bank statements regularly and to keep track of their credit ratings to see if any new accounts have been opened using their personal information.
People who believe they may have been victims of any type of financial-card crime should immediately contact their card issuers, spokeswoman Laura Hourigan said. They also can file a police report by calling the non-emergency line at 919-831-6311.