(Black Press file photo)

Surrey, Abbotsford residents arrested in connection to suspected fake ID operation

Police say charges are expected after credit card skimmers seized during Pemberton traffic stop

RCMP say three people have been arrested in connection to a suspected fake identification operation.

One of those arrested was a 36-year-old man from Surrey who was wanted on two outstanding warrants out of Kamloops.

Another man, 31, was a prolific offender from Abbotsford who was wanted on three warrants, totalling 19 outstanding charges from three Lower Mainland jurisdictions.

An 18-year-old Abbotsford woman, who had been reported missing, was also arrested but later released.

The first arrest happened around 2 p.m. on Feb. 6 when Pemberton RCMP noticed a speeding vehicle.

Police say after pulling the vehicle over, officers learned it was not insured and the driver, the man from Surrey, was arrested.

That’s when police say they located a “substantial” amount of items that would be used to make fake identifications and what looked to be skimmers used to make fraudulent credit cards.

As police investigated, they suspected more people were involved. Later that evening, the investigation led them to the 4400-block of Sundial Place in Whistler, where they located and arrested the two people from Abbotsford.

RCMP say the investigation continues into the activities of these individuals along the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and charges are expected.

“This is an excellent example of coordination and tenacity in the Sea-to-Sky corridor on the part of Pemberton and Whistler RCMP members to ensure these folks were stopped from continuing their criminal behaviour in our communities,” said Staff Sergeant Paul Hayes.

Police want to remind members of the public to protect their credit and debit cards by memorizing your personal identification Number (PIN) number, shielding your PIN when using an ATM or pin pad. It is also recommended that during transactions you swipe your cards yourself as opposed to allowing a cashier to do it for you.

Police say if you are not able to swipe your card yourself ensure that you maintain visual contact with your cards at all times.

In a release, RCMP explan that debit card and credit card fraud occurs when someone ‘skims’ or swipes the information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card to create a duplicate of your card.

With debit cards the thief also needs to capture your PIN but credit card fraud can happen in several ways including skimming where a thief manufactures a counterfeit card and then uses that counterfeit card to purchase items in stores, internet or by phone.

If members of the public suspects a point of sale terminal or pin-pad has been tampered with or they have been the victim of a fraud, police direct them to contact their bank or credit card companies to inform them, contact credit bureaus and have fraud alerts placed on their credit reports: Equifax 1-800-465-7166 and TransUnion 1-877-525-3823.

Notify police and record your police file number and finally report to the Canadian Anti-fraud centre online (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm) or 1-888-495-8501.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Whistler RCMP at 604-932-3044 or the Pemberton RCMP at 604-894-6634,. If they wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or solvecrime.ca.

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