Earlier this week Michael Stone did a piece about the rise of credit card fraud in the Loveland area.

The situation has escalated since then, and looks to be growing.

Find out what authorities are saying about it, and how they are trying to stop it.

Thomas Cooper, Getty Images)

 

Since October 8th, upwards of FIVE HUNDRED people in Northern Colorado have been the victims of a what appears to be a crime spree involving credit cards.

According to Loveland's Reporter-Herald, Loveland police now believe that people are making fake credit cards using account numbers from citizens here in Loveland and surrounding areas.

The fraud epidemic appears to be isolated in Northern Colorado, with victims in Loveland, unincorporated Larimer County, Johnstown, Windsor and unincorporated Weld County. Agencies from each area are coordinating investigative efforts and have requested assistance from federal authorities, [Loveland Police Sgt. Mike] Halloran said, though their role is not yet determined

The criminals are taking information from people who live around our area, but not using the information in our area.  Purchases are being made in California, New York, London... as though there's nothing nice to be bought with stolen money here in Northern Colorado! Why not ramp up some charges at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory?

But I digress.  Back to the story.

The Reporter-Herald''s article states that police now believe that criminals obtained the victims' information months ago- and are NOW using that information:

...authorities don't believe the victims could have protected themselves "any better than they did" and didn't carelessly give out their financial information or leave it where it could have been stolen easily.

However, the victims can't let their guard down for a second.  This crime spree begets more crime:

Halloran said police have received in the past few days a surge of reports about automated calls, text messages and emails to local residents asking them to "confirm" financial information.

Which to me is a criminal saying "Why don't why we try robbing the same banks twice?.   Dumb, but I guess it's worth a shot.

Especially, as we head into the holiday shopping season, the lessons to take away are:

Get the whole article on this credit card fraud scheme at:

The Reporter-Herald!