Feds: Westgate employee used skimmer to steal credit-card numbers
Mar 02, 2013 (Orlando Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
U.S. Secret Service agents said an Orlando man and a Westgate Resorts employee stole credit-card numbers from dozens of resort guests via a skimming device used at check-in.
The Westgate employee was not identified in court documents, which stated she is cooperating with the Secret Service.
The employee told agents Miguel Luis Eladio Lozada-Santos approached her Jan. 17 with a plan to obtain credit-card information from Westgate guests with the skimmer -- a device that captures credit-card numbers from the card's magnetic strip, which can then be used to produce other cards.
Court records said the employee took the skimmer to work, and when guests arrived at the resort, she ran their credit cards through the device.
Authorities said several resort guests complained to a Westgate manager Jan. 29 that their credit-card information was compromised at the resort.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Lozada-Santos, a guest who checked in at the resort Jan. 25 had nearly $530 in fraudulent charges. Another guest who checked in at Westgate on Jan. 25 reported $1,300 in illegal credit-card charges. A third guest reported $550 in fraudulent charges.
When notified of the illegal charges, Westgate's security staff quickly identified the employee who checked in the guests.
Mark Waltrip, chief operating officer of Westgate Resorts, said all point-of-sale systems are monitored by surveillance video.
"Our security team works really hard at this," he said. "They take guest safety and security very seriously."
Westgate Resorts notified authorities, who obtained the employee's cooperation.
The Westgate employee told agents Lozada-Santos and another man, identified as "Pos," were involved with pulling the credit-card information off the skimmer.
Lozada-Santos told the employee "Pos" hoped to get about $1,000 from each credit account. Lozada-Santos also told the employee that banks reimbursed the customers, "which showed that no one was hurt by what they were doing."
The Secret Service obtained the skimmer from the employee and found 46 names and credit-card-account numbers, the criminal complaint said.
Agents arrested Lozada-Santos on Jan. 30 when, they said, he met the employee to retrieve the skimmer.
He was indicted by an Orlando federal jury Wednesday.
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