2 charged after card-forging gear found

Deputies who stopped a speeding vehicle on Inter­state 20 in Augusta on Sun­day found a credit card reader, a writer and more than 350 credit and gift cards. The driver and his passenger were arrested.

More than 100 of the credit and gift cards had stolen numbers assigned to them, according to the Rich­mond County Sheriff’s Of­fice.

Deputies stopped the vehicle about 4:30 p.m. Sunday near mile marker 195 and discovered that the driver, Khille Damon Jackson, 29, of Atlanta, was driving without a license, authorities say. The passenger, Bobbie Lynn Leake, 22, of Redwood City, Calif., also had no driver’s license.

Lt. Calvin Chew said he was not aware of how fast the vehicle was traveling.

Chew said the sheriff’s office has started training officers to go beyond what they usually do in a traffic stop, especially if there is any suspicion. In this case, it led the officer to the cards and the credit card reader and writer, which was described as a handheld device that looks similar to a credit card swiper.

Chew said people who make cards from stolen data do not need the original cards. Card information can be obtained by hackers and then entered into the machine. Scammers take old cards, such as expired credit cards or gift cards, and replace the existing data with the stolen card information.

“It’s so easy to get people’s information nowadays,” Chew said. “We tell people to check their credit regularly.”

Both occupants were charged with criminal possession of financial transaction card forgery device. Jackson has also been charged with driving without a license.

The Secret Service has joined the sheriff’s office in an investigation, and more charges are pending.

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