PLANO — Thieves are finding new ways to steal prepaid credit cards, and some North Texans are paying the price.
What started as a Christmas gift from one woman has turned into a criminal investigation. Karie Anderegg bought three prepaid $100 credit cards at a Plano Walmart. It was a Christmas gift for her son in Ohio.
A few days later, when he tried to use the cards to buy a new suit, he discovered someone else already had.
"He called me New Year's Day and told me he tried to use the cards, and they were declined," Anderegg said.
The Plano woman tried to find out what went wrong, so she went online to the Web site listed on the card. The balance? $1.96.
Someone apparently used another card with the same information to make three separate purchases in Mesquite.
"I was shocked. I mean, they're in packages. I thought they were safe. Obviously, they weren't, " Anderegg said.
Mesquite police are investigating the fraud. They want to take a look at surveillance video at the three stores where the purchases were made.
Plano police told News 8 that similar crimes are rising in their city too, as criminals are getting more sophisticated.
In many cases, legitimate cards are being cloned by programming magnetic strips on fake cards.
Walmart officials would not reveal how often this has happened or how they're trying to prevent it. A company spokeswoman simply told us they're looking into it and working with Plano police.
Karie Anderegg says when she went back to the store to complain, employees were taking prepaid cards like the ones she purchased off the shelves.
"I was complaining about it and she held the bags up and looked at me. I said, 'You're pulling them, aren’t you?' And she said, 'Yes.'"
So far, Walmart has not offered to give Anderegg a refund. She told us she's angry that after sending a Christmas gift to her son, he still has nothing to show for it.