Police Ask Victims to Come Forward As Flood of Fraud Claims Hit Teaneck
About a hundred local residents have claimed their credit card information was stolen.
About a hundred Teaneck residents have claimed fraudulent charges on their credit cards since Wednesday, leading township police to urge residents to officially report the alleged activity.
Councilman Elie Y. Katz said he received a flood of emails from residents who recently learned their card numbers were used for purchases as far away as the Midwest.
As reports began to surface, Katz and Councilman Yitz Stern posted a message to TeaneckShuls, a popular local e-mail list. The council members also began compiling a list of possible victims to share with police.
“We’ve literally gotten over 80 responses back,” Katz said a few hours after the message was sent late Thursday morning. Responses have included lists of multiple residents who said they were scammed.
“We’re just looking to help facilitate,” he said. “We’re not looking to do an investigation.”
Katz said he too was a victim of two fraudulent $5 credit card charges at hotels in the Midwest. Other residents, he said, have reported pricey purchases.
“Someone told me this morning they had a $700 charge,” he said.
Katz said residents should contact their credit companies and local police department.
The reported charges vary, with some area residents saying their cards were used in Canada, Colorado and Las Vegas. Residents with a range of credit card companies have claimed fraudulent activity and it was not known if all the charges were linked.
Katz said the apparent cluster of fraud has left locals asking if their card information could have been lifted from an area store.
“They’re all wondering if there was a merchant, unknowingly, who has a device setup to capture the cards,” he said. “It seems there’s a big cluster in Teaneck.”
Police, however, said they received few official reports and had no immediate evidence pointing to any specific type of scam.
Teaneck Police Chief Robert Wilson urged any potential victims to immediately alert authorities. The chief said he had heard informally about the charges, but police needed more victims to come forward to aid in the investigation.
Credit card statements, dates and times of recent purchases would also help police piece together any potential scam, he said. Residents were asked to make reports by visiting police headquarters anytime.
“We’re trying to find some kind of common link,” Wilson said Thursday. “Please report it to your local police department so we can take action on it.”
Teaneck Police Headquarters is located at 900 Teaneck Road.