Investigators with the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit-Major Frauds, have charged a 34-year-old Richmond Hill man in connection with gift card fraud.
This past October, officers began an investigation after receiving reports from a large retailer that several victims had purchased gift cards for various amounts but discovered there was no balance on the card when they went to use them.
Investigators say a male suspect was caught on video using the funds from those cards without having the physical card in his possession.
Investigators believe that the gift cards had been tampered with, prior to being purchased.
When police executed a search warrant at a residence, they seized a quantity of gift cards.
Police arrested 34 year old Haicheng Wang, he’s charged with fraud under $5,000 and is due in a Newmarket December 21, 2017.
York Regional Police wants to remind citizens to follow these tips to avoid being a victim of a gift card fraud:
- Before purchasing a gift card, check the packaging. Make sure it is intact and secure. If you think a gift card has been tampered with, bring it to a store manager’s attention
- After making the purchase, check that the gift card number you purchased matches the number printed on the receipt
- Always keep both the transaction and activation receipts for all gift card purchases
- Avoid buying gift cards from online resellers. There is no way to check that the gift cards are legitimate and you may not be covered if there’s a problem with the card.
A video of Constable Laura Nicolle discussing these safety tips can be found here: https://youtu.be/Qe4hB3V31zo
This investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit-Major Frauds at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips, leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.