54 year old David James Skiby is facing charges of credit card fraud after pretending to be a waiter at a Heber, Utah restaurant. A customer wanting to pay her tab at the Side Track Café gave her credit card to Skiby who she assumed was the waiter. Skiby then left the restaurant and used the stolen credit card at two stores before he was identified and arrested.
Skiby took a very bold, yet amateur approach to credit card fraud. He was easy to identify by both the victim and the public who contributed numerous tips of his whereabouts. Additionally, the credit card theft was immediately noticed by the victim who contacted police soon after her waiter failed to return. Those guilty of credit card fraud usually take a more discreet approach to the crime than Skiby did.
Types of credit card fraud
Typically, those guilty of credit card fraud are able to keep the crime unnoticed until a purchase has been made. Even then, it is only noticed by those that regularly check their bank or credit card balances. Some of the more common types of credit card fraud are:
• Credit card skimming or counterfeit credit cards. Unlike fake waiters like Skiby, those who actually do work at restaurants or in other businesses where the credit card is taken away for payment have a golden opportunity to swipe it through a skimmer which steals the card information. Once stolen, the information is transmitted to a fake card which thieves use just as they would a normal credit card.
• Lost or stolen cards. This is the number one way that credit card fraud is committed which is odd, since it’s the easiest to prevent by simply reporting the card missing. Cards that are lost or stolen can be used easily by anyone as long as ID is not checked and the card hasn’t been reported. Since a high majority of stores don’t check ID along with all online purchasing sites, this makes it very simple to get away with.
• CNP (card not present) fraud. This type of credit card fraud is rising in popularity due to online purchasing becoming the norm. When items are bought online, there is no way for the company to verify that the card is actually present. All that is needed is the credit card number, verification pin (located on the card), and billing zip code which is easy to guess in smaller towns.
• Account Takeover. By collecting enough personal information about the victim, someone can call the bank or credit card company and change the address and report the card stolen which will result in a new card being issued to the thief’s address instead.
• Mail intercept. Mail intercept is where a new card issued is intercepted in route to the customer’s mailbox. It is then activated and used until the customer realizes it didn’t show up and reports the card missing.
Not worth it
Several of those found guilty of credit card fraud use the stolen cards to purchase frivolous and expensive items. Sadly though, with many people being in financial crisis, cards are often stolen to buy basic necessities such as food and fuel. The two stores that David Skiby used the stolen credit card at were Wal-Mart and the gas station Maverick. While it is unknown what he was purchasing, he likely wasn’t buying a boat or expensive jewelry. This doesn’t excuse the crime, however it does bring into light why many choose the path of credit card fraud, despite the repercussions if caught.
3rd degree felony multiplied
Regardless if Skiby used the stolen card to buy a TV or to buy a loaf of bread; he is facing two 3rd degree felonies because that is how many times he used the stolen card. According to an officer with the Heber City Police Department, every time a card is used fraudulently, it is a 3rd degree felony. Each 3rd degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison with a fine of up to $5,000. With the hefty penalties that come with credit card fraud, those facing charges should seek counsel with an attorney immediately.