Man caught in major credit card scheme in Altamonte Springs

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Investigators in Seminole County are reaching out to agencies across state lines after catching a man they said may be responsible for more than $50,000 worth of credit card fraud.

Channel 9's Karla Ray found out he was accused of making thousands in purchases without actually swiping those stolen cards.

Jeffrey Villines, of Georgia, was arrested in Altamonte Springs after someone inside a Dillard’s store spotted him trying to spend more than $1,400 on flagged gift cards, police said.

The gift cards were all allegedly purchased with stolen credit cards.

“The high-end purses, the Louis Vuitton purses; things he can put on Craigslist or ebay and make money off of,” said Robert Pelton, with the Altamonte Springs Police department.

Investigators said when they searched Villines’ car they found a stack of gift cards in the front cup holder and bags full of gift cards in the back seat.

They said they also found $20,000 in merchandise.

“$30,000 in gift cards and $22,000 worth of merchandise he already purchased,” Pelton said.

Police said the scam is a new way criminals are making quick cash.

“So they take the chance, they use the credit card one time, they obtain these cash cards and now they’re free to shop,” Pelton said.

Investigators are still working to trace all the potential victims.

“Home burglaries, vehicle burglaries; where these purses were taken from and these credit cards were stolen from. Now we’re able to go back and solve all these cases,” Pelton said.

Investigators said there could be others involved in the scheme, but also said most credit cards companies protect customers if their information was stolen or used fraudulently.