Local cigarette store owners being targeted by credit card thieves

Multiple businesses are facing expensive chargebacks

MT.CLEMENS, Mich. – Local business are talking amongst each other to figure out who keeps using stolen credit cards at their stores, and successfully stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise.

The business owners say someone is coming in the stores and making purchases by using multiple fake credit cards, and only finding out later when the credit card company files a charge back.

This type of fraud ends up costing the small businesses thousands of dollars.

The suspects usually claim they are new business owners, and needed several boxes of cigars and cigarettes for their venture.

The owners of Smokers Only, a cigarette and cigar shop in Mt.Clemens which has a few locations in Macomb and Clair county said they were recently notified about a charge back that occurred at their Marysville location in the amount of $3,000.

“The original owner of the credit card claims that he didn’t make those purchases” Alex, the owner of the shop said.

“Which he didn’t” he said, now realizing the credit cards the suspects used were stolen. 

Alex said the suspects provided a credit card which matched the name of their ID but the card did not slide. The suspects insisted that the numbers needed to be pushed in, and that’s when the charge went through.

The credit card company told the store owners someone used the card to make several purchases ranging from $300-$400 each.

This common type of credit card fraud happens when thieves steal legitimate credit card numbers and place them on fake cards, making the card unable to be swiped but will work if the numbers are manually punched in. 

One store owner and his family said they heard about these types of things happening at other local businesses and other store owners have the same story “quote about using the same?” with the most recent story coming from purchases made at a Speedy Q.

“We are a small business people, very hard working people, to lose $3000 in one month, this is terrible” Alex said.

I don’t want this to happen to anyone else “

On Friday, Alex says someone came in to purchase cigarettes and red bull and again, the suspects credit card did not swipe. Alex recognized the suspect from descriptions and called him out. The suspect fled the store.

Alex said he’s worried about other local business owners, urging them to never manually input credit card numbers.

“People need to be careful”  He said 

Clinton township police are working a lead from a license plate number taken from one of the local business store owners and investigations are ongoing. 

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