News Column

Credit card skimming suspect receives additional charges

June 1, 2014

By Aisling Swift, Naples Daily News, Fla.



June 01--An East Naples man jailed last month on fraud charges involving a two-county credit card skimming investigation now faces more charges after authorities say he used a Marco Island man's stolen bank card number.

Omar Jesus Barreda, 50, of the 300 block of Plantation Way, was charged Friday with additional felony charges of fraud and impersonation by using another person's ID, possessing a forged or altered credit card and fraudulently using credit cards. He's being held without bond in the county jail.

Barreda was arrested by Collier deputies on May 7 on a variety of charges, including fraud, trafficking in counterfeit credit cards and grand theft.

Marco Police reports show that police removed a credit card skimming device from a Chevron station gas pump on March 27 and received reports from customers whose credit card information was being used outside the island. Police Chief Don Hunter said the continuing investigation involves Marco police, Collier and Lee sheriff's deputies, other suspects and transactions in two counties.

Skimmers are devices attached to a gas pump or ATM machine that copy account data from the card's magnetic stripe; some also record PINs. Hunter said unless the skimmer is visible or it feels different when the card is swiped, a customer would be unaware the card number was being stolen.

"The bad guys come after-hours and it's a pretty quick takeout," Hunter said of skimming cases. "Some of the convenience stores don't have good videos or captures, so we face a variety of problems when we try to solve them."

Collier sheriff's detectives began investigating in April after reports from people that fraudulent purchases were being made on their credit cards at the Walmart at 6650 Collier Blvd., although the victims still had their cards. Walmart employees confirmed Barreda regularly came into the store to make small purchases using gift cards.

The new charges involve cards encrypted with a Marco man's SunTrust bank card number. Deputies obtained Walmart video surveillance that showed Barreda making $224.16 in purchases with the man's credit card number and buying items using with two other cards.

When Barreda was arrested last month, deputies found Walmart bags in his car with the purchases tied to the Marco man's card, and a gift card in his wallet that had the man's bank credit card number encrypted on it. The report shows the man was unaware his identity had been stolen until detectives called him, but his bank statement later reflected the charges.

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(c)2014 the Naples Daily News (Naples, Fla.)

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Source: Naples Daily News (FL)


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