MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of motorists who stopped for a bite to eat at a local McDonald’s may not have gotten the extra value meal they expected after a clerk was arrested for stealing credit card information, police said.
According to investigators, a 16-year-old girl who worked the drive-through lane at the McDonald’s on E. 7th Street in Monticello was charged with felony fraud for allegedly “skimming” credit cards of customers.
Skimmers are small machines that thieves use to copy credit card information and store it into a larger database. That information, police believe, was funneled to a larger group of individuals now under investigation. In this way, the employee’s victims still had their credit cards in hand while the employee was able to make illegal purchases without them knowing, police said.
“The juvenile, she was schooled on how to use the skimmer by some people that we’re still investigating, some juvenile, some adults, we’re just not sure how big it is yet,” said Wright County Sheriff Joe Haggerty.
Haggerty is now asking anyone who made a purchase during July and August at this location to check their credit card statements to check if they were compromised.
“We’re looking for victims to call us who … used their credit card and found out that there were some purchases made using their credit card that the victim didn’t make. We need those folks to give us a call at the Wright County Sheriff’s Office so that we can find out just exactly how many victims we have,” he said.
It’s unclear just how many victims there are, but Haggerty told WCCO he believes there are hundreds.
WCCO’s Samantha Smith Interviews Sheriff Joe Haggerty
Police are currently attempting to identify and catalog the employee’s victims, the majority of which were white females.
“She targeted generally Caucasian people, mostly females driving nicer vehicles, more expensive vehicles. That seemed to be the target,” said Haggerty.
Several suspects have been identified, police said.
If you stopped at the East 7th Street McDonald’s and think you fell victim to credit card fraud, call the Wright County Sheriff’s Office at 763-682-7733.
The Wright County Sheriff’s Office, the Lino Lakes Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the fraud.
McDonald’s has cooperated with the investigation, police said.
The suspect’s identity was not released as a safety precaution