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6 Calgarians charged in credit card scam involving Sports Select and Keno

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Six Calgary residents have been charged in relation to a credit card scam involving Sports Select and Keno.

Raymond RCMP and the Western Canada Lottery Corporation collaborated to take over a series of crimes they called “manual transaction entry fraud” that took place in convenience stores in Raymond, Lethbridge, Vegreville, Two Hills and Sundre between Dec.31, 2023 and Feb.26, 2024.

The scam involved the suspects entering a store and ordering $5,000 in Sports Select and $1,000 in Keno cards, which is the maximum one person can purchase in a 24-hour period.

The suspects would ask for credit card payment and then see if the terminal would allow for manual entry. If it did, they would enter a memorized Mastercard number that didn’t match the number of the card they had in the store. The card number would go through, but since the physical card wasn’t in the store at the time of the transaction, it would eventually get reported by the card holder and returned by the bank at the expense of the retailer – but several weeks would go by before the charges would be reversed.

Meanwhile, the suspects, knowing the store accepted manual entry, would continue to use the tactic to buy gift cards, prepaid credit cards and scratch-and-win tickets.

The impacted retailers acknowledged that it was unusual, but continued to allow the transactions until they were contacted by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation with questions about the transactions.

On March 19, a crime reduction unit team executed a search warrant on the 2000 block of 34 Street S.W. in Calgary. As a result, two Calgary residents were charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of or trafficking in credit card data, and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Four other Calgary residents were charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of or trafficking in credit card data.

One of the accused will appear in court in Lethbridge on April 24. The other five are on warrant status.

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