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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

State police investigating credit card fraud at IBS

Published: October 15, 2010
Section: Front Page

Fraud: There have been 25 reported cases of credit card fraud at Dominic’s Cafe in the International Busniess School.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

The credit card scanning machine at Dominic’s Café has been handed over to the state police for investigation following 25 reported cases of credit card fraud at the International Business School establishment, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said.

This week, reports of credit card fraud increased from about 10 students on Monday to 25 cases on Wednesday. After the jump in cases this week, Callahan said that the credit card machine was removed so that “we could contact the appropriate authorities to initiate a forensic investigation.”

The reports of fraud ranged in dollar amounts, which in some cases neared $200. Callahan said the nature of the charges suggested they were most likely cases of fraud being controlled from out of state.

A spokesman for the State Police, Sergeant Michael Popovics, said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation. Additionally, he would not comment on how credit card fraud is investigated.

The university sent out a press release on Monday warning students about the credit card fraud. Managers at the café are cooperating with the investigation, Senior Vice President for Administration Mark Collins wrote in the press release. Callhan said that Public Safety had talked with the owner of Dominic’s.

“I don’t think this is a normal process [to happen] for a machine,” he said.

Some of the credit card companies denied the charges and some students even received text messages from their banks notifying them of the unusual activity on their accounts, according to Callahan.

Callahan acknowledged that “[credit card fraud] is a big business today” and “professional people” have the ability to transfer credit card numbers and change purchases.

The role of the Office of Public Safety will be to continue to interview Brandeis community members while allowing the state police to focus on the “forensic investigation” Callahan said.

Investigations into credit card fraud can take up to a month, he said.