LEWISVILLE, Texas — The double doors leading into the Home Zone Furniture in Lewisville have posted flyers of the culprits in a sophisticated credit card fraud scheme.
The home furnishing store has been hit three times by the same group since Labor Day and has been thwarted twice.
“It’s a very sophisticated type of credit card theft,” said Bree Barber, of Home Zone.
Barber told WFAA the same five women have been caught on surveillance cameras at each of their stores. She said it’s evident the group had been casing their stores for weeks; specifically the Mesquite, Lewisville, Waco, and North Richland Hills locations. Barber said sometimes the group came in with children.
Home Zone told WFAA the group walks in, takes interest in big ticket items, then overwhelm and distract the staff by then refusing the item. Before you know it, they’ve taken the credit card reader and processed fake refunds to themselves.
“They actually took the machine from behind our back and distracted us where nobody can see them and entered their own credit card information while no is looking. It makes me furious,” said Jason Adams, of Home Zone.
Adams said the money is often sent to a card that is not traceable.
Lewisville police can confirm a police report was recently filed about the theft. Mesquite police confirms they are investigating a credit card fraud case and working with several police agencies.
“…we can confirm that the suspects involved in the Home Zone Store losses share a similar modus operandi,” read an email from the Mesquite Police Department.
“Isn’t that blatant? It took seconds and that’s a $14,000 crime,” said Adams.
In total, Home Zone Furniture, a family company, has been taken for $25,000 and it’s not just in North Texas. Their Waco location was hit too.
Barber said the thieves have gone as far as taking the card reader itself.
“Somebody knows who these ladies are. In the end it’s not a victimless crime, it’s going to affect all of us,” said Barber.
The company is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and they fear other victims are out there. The phone number provided is 817-690-4370 or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.