Identity theft can happen at any time, and threats don't just come from hackers on the internet and scam artists on the phone. Sometimes, identity theft can happen when consumers are getting dinner.
An employee at a McDonald's in Shreveport, Louisiana, was arrested in early June on charges that he was using an electronic device to steal people's credit card information. According to the Shreveport Times, the publicity the arrest received led several other victims, many of whom had hundreds of dollars stolen from them, to come forward. The employee, Sankeyno Taylor, now faces 20 additional charges.
Taylor is out on bond from a maximum security facility for the first arrest but detectives have made numerous attempts to find and apprehend him for the more recent charges to no avail, the paper said. There is a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone with information that leads to his arrest. It is believed he is intentionally eluding police, as he is aware of the new charges against him.
According to Shreveport television station KSLA, Taylor was selling the information he skimmed from customers to scammers in Texas. One victim told the station that she noticed a $775 discrepancy on her credit card bill and only put the facts together when she saw a report on the arrest. Several others that recognized the drive-through window on the news report made similar claims.
Taylor was using a "skimming device," a small piece of electronic equipment that can read all the information on a credit card's magnetic strip with one quick, surreptitious swipe, to steal victims' identities. The device stores the information for later use. In this case, it will likely be used to produce fake credit cards, the report said.
"The device reads the information on the tape on the credit card, and stores it. That is everything from the person's name, account number and other information," Mark Natale of the Bossier City Police Department told the station.
Consumers must be careful with all their financial information, and should regularly check their credit card statements and credit report for any discrepancies. If they believe they are the victim of identity theft, they should contact all three credit bureaus, as well as local law enforcement.