California crooks pay for high-end fun with stolen credit card

By , CardRatings contributor
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It's time for another look at unusual credit card crimes making the news, and there are a few strange ones that stand out.

Expensive taste

Two teens are in hot water for credit card fraud. They rented a car with a stolen credit card -- a sports car, a McLaren 12C, valued at $240,000.

And they also rented a $12 million vacation home two days before their arrest.

The agency that let the teens have the car said on their blog that the 19-year-olds had given a fake ID when getting the keys.

Many teens have been known for using a fake ID to get beer, but a sports car and a $12 million vacation home? It is kind of impressive. It almost sounds like a plotline that could have been used in the classic 1986 movie, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Nice job, Wal-Mart

In Chesterfield County, Virginia, police are looking for two men who went on a shopping trip together at Wal-Mart and paid with stolen credit card numbers.

Now, the WTVR article doesn't say if these men used the self-checkout lane or if there's some good explanation how this happened, but one of men used eight different credit cards at the register -- and they were all rejected. He finally used a ninth, and that credit card payment went through, and the man left with his purchases.

I know that plenty of people have their credit or debit cards rejected every once in awhile, but you'd think if a cashier was involved in this, he or she would eventually say on the fourth or fifth one, "You know what? I think we're done here."

Or if it was a self-checkout lane that maybe the register would signal a manager to come over.

The second man that police are looking for had four credit cards rejected -- but his fifth was accepted. This happening to two people around the same time -- you'd think that, too, might have been a clue that something was amiss.

And then the two men went to a GameStop in the same shopping center and bought yet more items with their stolen credit card numbers. Oh, and as long as we're talking about clues, as the media has reported, they were two white guys and last seen driving away in a light-colored sedan. Because, you know, that really narrows it down…

Here's a heartwarming story

Kristina Morrison, 18, of Dracut, Massachusetts, was recently in court for credit card crimes she reportedly committed last year. Morrison allegedly used a stolen credit card 18 times to make more than $2,000 in purchases. The victim? Her 71-year-old stepgrandfather, Thomas Dunn, who was on his deathbed. Nice.

But, no, it gets a little better. Dunn's daughter discovered the charges and apparently deduced it was her Morrison who committed the crime. When she confronted Morrison, the stepdaughter reportedly told her to forget all about it or she and her friends would cause a "commotion" at Dunn's funeral. Whoever produces Hallmark movies should grab this family's story rights.

If only every credit card thief would do this

If any of you are credit card thieves, and you're reading this, maybe to see what your friends are up to, or to get tips, here's some advice. This is just for you. The rest of you, go do something else. The rest of this column is over for you.

OK, are we alone? Good.

If you ever steal a credit card, be sure to do what Jolene Weisheit, 20, allegedly has done, according to KTRK, a Houston ABC TV affiliate.

When working for Papa John's in Houston, Weisheit reportedly took orders over the phone, serving up pizza but keeping the credit card information of customers for herself.

Now, most identity thieves, when they steal a credit card, they try to hide their own identity. They pretend to be the person who the credit card belongs to.

But Weisheit apparently used the stolen credit card information to pay her State Farm insurance bill and her electricity bill, among other purchases including online hotel reservations. It made it so much easier for the police to find her since, well, you know, all they had to do was contact the insurance and utility and hotels and ask for their customer's name and address.

So if you are going to steal a credit card, please use it to pay your own bills. It'll save everyone a lot of time in hunting you down.

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