70 reports of fraud in Big Bear due to card skimming, deputies say

BIG BEAR, Calif. (KABC) -- Big Bear tourists and residents have fallen victims over the past couple of days to several counts of credit card fraud, according to officials.

"It hit at least 80 people I know of," one victim, Stephanie, said. "My heart went into my stomach. We all struggle, especially in Big Bear, we're a tourist town. I can't have $1,600 or more going out of my account."

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said the crook may have used a card skimmer at a local gas station to steal credit card information. Detectives were working to pinpoint the source.

"They collect the data, they create bogus credit cards and then sometimes they sell those credit cards online to additional criminals who then go out and use those credit cards either online or at ATMs," Tiffany Swantek with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department explained.

Police have taken at least 70 reports, including one victim who had a pending fraudulent charge for $8,900.

Detectives have thus far failed to find a skimmer.

Those with information were asked to call the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Big Bear Station at (909) 866-0100.
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