The secret service is getting involved with what local police are calling a huge scam operation.
A small Walmart in Navasota was grounds for part of a big scam operation according to police.
"The victims had told the officers that they had their credit cards in their pocket, and they were not stolen, but they showed they were being used here locally,” said Chief Shawn Myatt.
That was back in February when Navasota Police began their investigation. After a month Oelecia Tolivar, 30, and David Hester, 31, were allegedly caught using a stolen debit card at Walmart.
"Some of the staff had recognized her back at the store based upon our investigation that we were currently working on, and they contacted us,” said Chief Myatt.
Tolivar confessed to the crime.
Investigators say they confiscated 12 debit cards from the suspects. On the card was the suspect’s name, but on the receipt was the original cardholder’s name. Tolivar confessed to police about how their scam works.
"They work at different restaurants, bars, places like that. They are handed a skimmer, and when they are working at these establishments, regular individuals come in and pay for their food using a debit card or credit card or whatever,” said Chief Myatt.
Investigators say the suspects secretly swiped the card through their own credit card reader or skimmer and returned it back to the customer.
"After they ordered these stock credit cards from the internet with their name on them, then once they got those in, then the magnetic strip was placed on the back with those with the stolen victim's information that they had skimmed,” Chief Myatt said.
Those credit cards are then used to buy and sell.
"Start thinking about using cash a little bit,” said Chief Myatt.
It’s advice police want customers to follow so they don’t become victims.
Investigators say all of the victims from the Navasota Walmart incident have been notified.
The secret service is investigating the crime operation.
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