MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - What authorities are describing as a "Major credit card fraud ring" is sweeping across North Carolina, already tallying almost half a million dollars in purchases.
"They are mostly hitting places along the Interstate 40 corridor from Wilmington all the way to Morganton," said Morganton Public Safety Investigator Roger Tate.
Surveillance video was released on Thursday showing several people who used the fraudulent credit cards.
Tate says cards are not being stolen, instead, the card numbers are taken. They believe they were retrieved from legitimate processing centers and new, fraudulent cards, were made overseas.
"We believe in places like Russia, Bosnia, Cuba, and Nigeria," Tate said.
In effect, someone could be using another person's credit card number without the real card holder knowing it.
People are urged to keep up with transactions on their statements often and to report any activity that they were not a part of. The dollar figure can add up quickly, says Tate.
In one 45-minute period in Morganton two weeks ago, $7,000 in purchases were made in several stores with the cards.
Officials want people to look at the surveillance video and if they recognize anyone, to call their local law enforcement agency.
Some arrests have been made in Eastern North Carolina, but it's believed at least eight more people are involved and active.