WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Card fraud; burglaries

In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – reader reports plus incidents from the SPD files.

CHECK YOUR CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS … if you have used cards at gas stations lately. This is from Kathy:

Got a call from Discover Card yesterday to tell me they had detected fraudulent activity on my card. Turns out that the last place I used the card was on Thursday at the Safeway Gas Station on Admiral Way (first pump on the left.) Looking back at the charges, even though I filled the tank, I was only charged $1 by Safeway! Then, yesterday morning a charge was made to my card for a “donation” to an entity I’ve never heard of. Discover is not charging me anything, and is sending me a new card, but I do want to put out a warning to potential victims. I spoke to Safeway, and they said they’d bring it to the attention of their manager, who won’t be in until Monday!

If you have gotten gas at the Safeway pumps in the last few days, I would suggest checking charges on whatever card you used to make sure you haven’t been ripped off.

It’s a good idea to check your credit and debit card accounts online between statements, as this could happen almost anywhere.

EGG VANDALISM: Bri’Anna e-mailed to report: “Our pickup was egged overnight [Wednesday/Thursday] while parked on the 4100 block of 25th Ave SW. Unfortunately, it froze to the vehicle. SPD did not take a report, but we thought we would give our neighbors a heads up. (Sooo many egg/chicken/fowl puns, and my mind is blank! I’m THAT frustrated with this.)”

From the police-report files, which we check daily to look for the newest reports published with details (narratives), five burglaries/attempted burglaries that were all reported in West Seattle last Monday (January 9th):

8100 BLOCK 9TH SW: A resident was away from home between 1 pm and 2:45 pm and discovered someone had forced open the back door, ransacking several rooms.

8800 BLOCK 9TH SW: In the same time frame, with the same method of entry, on the same street, another burglary happened about half a mile south. The family at this house got notification from its alarm company. The burglar(s) had ransacked rooms and left drawers open; a jewelry box and camcorder were missing.

3900 BLOCK 39TH SW: This also happened Monday afternoon. The resident was looking at a security camera while away from home after getting an alert around 1:20 pm, triggered by a motion center. The resident saw a “black male suspect” in black ski mask, gray sweatshirt, and black pants, walking “under the elevated back porch,” the report says, then looking into a back window before walking away. The resident believed a rear window screen had been removed, but it didn’t appear the residence had been broken into. Around the same time, a nearby resident called police to report two men – one of whom matched the prowler’s description – looking at houses from alleyways near 39th SW and SW Andover.

4900 BLOCK SW DAWSON: Residents told police that sometime between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, someone broke into the house and ransacked two rooms. Jewelry and a laptop were missing. The first hint they had that something was awry was that their dog didn’t greet them upon their return – they found the dog in one of the bedrooms, door closed, and they never put the dog there.

7300 BLOCK 44TH SW: Just before noon, police were called to investigate a construction trailer in this block. They were told that it had been burglarized, with a padlock cut to get in, and six power tools were missing.

It takes a while for report details (beyond location/time) to show up on the SPD website, so reader reports are helpful, so we can help get the word out faster – once you’ve called SPD, if it’s breaking, text/voice 206-293-6302, or e-mail info to editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

16 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Card fraud; burglaries"

  • Double Dub Resident January 15, 2017 (6:55 am)

    Whenever you get gas  the initial charge on your card is $1.00.i don’t know why  but until it officially goes through that’s what it does 

    • hj January 15, 2017 (8:23 am)

      The $1 charge validates your card before it allows you to pump, since the pump wants to make sure your card works but doesn’t know how much to charge you yet. The charge is withdrawn once the final amount is credited.

  • jissy January 15, 2017 (8:17 am)

    Not sure if it’s the season or what but both my personal CC card and business CC were both cancelled due to fraud in the last 2 weeks and there was no real overlap for where they were used.  The CC companies detected it immediately and notified us.   It’s such a pain!

  • yo January 15, 2017 (8:44 am)

    We had packages stolen from our door, near California and Juneau on Friday, 1/13/17, sometime between 10am – 5pm.

  • Eddie January 15, 2017 (9:20 am)

    The one dollar temporary charge is the gas pump verifying that it’s a good card BEFORE letting you pump $20, $40 or $100 (motorhome) into your tank and driving away.

  • Dr. Bob January 15, 2017 (10:19 am)

    I believe the $1.00 charge acts as a placeholder until the transaction settlement.

  • wseag January 15, 2017 (11:10 am)

    Just because a gas station was the last place someone used their card does not mean that is the point of compromise (location where card number was stolen). If I were Safeway I would not be appreciate this being posted which could potentially hurt their business for no reason. Unless the bank tells you where the point of compromise is you have no way of knowing! 

    • Mike January 15, 2017 (3:36 pm)

      Exactly my thoughts.  All locations the card was used past and present are suspect.  Saved card data on infected computers, suspect.

  • WS5 January 15, 2017 (2:50 pm)

    My card has been compromised a few times and it has never
    been the last place I used it at that was the culprit. The bank usually can’t
    figure out who copied your card. It could have been even copied a long time ago
    and the number is just getting use now. I feel bad that Safeway was listed
    here, it is good for them to always check their card readers, which is
    something a lot of big business do today anyways but listing the business that
    most likely is not at fault is bad press. Last time my card was compromised
    they made a physical card and used it at many stores including Redbox.

    • Alan January 16, 2017 (6:42 am)

      It is tempting to believe that it was the last place you used it or at a place you do not normally go. That happened to me two years ago and I was completely wrong about where. My story sounded familiar to a WSB reader, so we exchanged info on where we used our card. It turned out that we managed to not frequent ANY of the same places in West Seattle, so we expanded our search. It turned out that we happened to have dinner at the same national chain restaurant in Tukwila, on the same night and with the same waiter. He had obtained enough info that he was able to rebuild (or sell the info to someone else to rebuild) our card (no chip yet) and it was used to buy multiple gift cards on Capitol Hill. Something about this transaction raised a red flag with my card company and they contacted us to confirm the transaction.

      So, we were excited to have the waiter identified, thinking we had broken the case for the police.  Well, the police weren’t interested and pointed us to our card company. They didn’t seem interested and so we went to the retailer, who also didn’t know what to do with our information. We also contacted the restaurant and they were horrified but said the waiter denied it. On my next follow-up, the waiter no longer worked there, so there was no further action for them to take.

  • unknown January 15, 2017 (3:49 pm)

    @WSEAG…exactly. This happened to us too and we thought it was a gas station we filled up at and it turned out to be an on-line purchase we did at home…some how the creep got our info and used it for a 600.00 purchase at Walmart??? BOY criminals are smart, very smart!

  • East Coast Cynic January 15, 2017 (6:32 pm)

    To you all that have had your card compromised,  did you have a EMV card w/ a computer chip?  Come to think of it, the gas pumps only have the option to read the card via the strip, which may not have prevented fraud w/ a chip card.

  • WestCake January 16, 2017 (6:27 am)

    The Metropolitan Market also doesn’t have the chip reader yet, they will be installing it in a month or so I was told. – fellow East Coast cynic. 

  • newnative January 16, 2017 (8:13 am)

    I think it’s natural to discuss the possible origins of the credit card fraud/theft.  Safeway was brought up but then eventually the $1 discrepancy was explained and several people explained why they may not be responsible.  

    I think it’s better that they were likely eliminated as a source of theft/fraud than Kathy quietly suspecting it was them and not taking it much further.  

    • wseag January 16, 2017 (11:44 am)

      Not everyone reads the comments. So for a lot of readers they only saw the name Safeway and will not not go there for gas anymore. 

      • newnative January 16, 2017 (2:32 pm)

        I don’t see how you glean that from the discussion.  My experience is one of reading and learning about situations here in the neighborhood.  The victim stated something odd about her bank activities and discovered she had been a victim of fraud. Discussion ensued. That’s how things get solved and worked out.  

Sorry, comment time is over.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann