Police: Stolen credit cards used to nab $8,500 in 8 minutes

WASHINGTON – You could call them the “Eight Minute Mammas.”

Police are looking for two women who used stolen credit cards to buy about $8,500 in gift cards from the Target in Rockville, Maryland. And they did it in eight minutes.

Montgomery County police say the pair walked into Target about 7:20 p.m. Dec. 5. They were at the register at 7:24 p.m. and out the door with activated gift cards by 7:28 p.m.

The victim’s credit card companies alerted her that same night that her cards were used to make large purchases of $4,000 each on a Visa and an American Express plus another $503 on a MasterCard, police say.

The most anyone has to pay to cover charges made on a stolen or lost credit card is $50. People who report a credit card lost or stolen before it’s used aren’t responsible for any unauthorized purchases.

But the rules are little different for ATM and debit cards. Consumers who report an ATM/debit card lost or stolen within two days of it disappearing are only liable for $50 in unauthorized purchases, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumers could be on the hook for $500 however if that lost or stolen card is reported after more than two business days, but less than 60 days after a statement is sent out. Those who report a loss more than 60 days after a card statement is sent to them could have their entire bank account wiped out.

Here’s an incentive to keep track of where bank cards are at all times and to report losses promptly: Just like with standard credit cards — consumers aren’t liable for any unauthorized transactions if an ATM or debit card is reported missing before a crook uses it.

Police released this video of the two woman who used the stolen credit cards leaving the Rockville Target.

Anyone who can identify the women is asked to call the Financial Crimes Section at 240-773-6338 or call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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