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CBP Intercepts Phony Gift Cards

Release Date: 
April 25, 2014

Cards could access money with stolen debit information

Phony gift cards linked to stolen debit card informationSAN ANTONIO —  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the San Antonio International Airport intercepted two citizens of Mexico carrying 15 counterfeit gift cards, April 22.

CBP officers became suspicious of the pair and directed the 35-year-old man and 33-year-old woman for additional processing.  During their interview, officers found two gift cards in the man’s wallet and discovered four additional gift cards hidden in a tear in the seat cushion of the chair the man used while waiting to be processed. The woman had 10 similar cards in her luggage.

Officers became suspicious of the gift cards for several reasons including the lack of any monetary limits affixed on the gift cards. CBP alerted Homeland Security Investigations about the suspicious cards.  HSI agents determined that 15 of the 16 cards found were counterfeit cards linked to stolen debit card information.   

“Counterfeit gift cards are one way transnational criminal organizations fund their illegal enterprise,” said CBP San Antonio Port Director Lois Hunter.  “This interception is an example of our commitment to disrupt such illegal activity while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”

CBP turned the counterfeit cards over to HSI.  The U.S. Secret Service was also notified and is investigating.

The two Mexican citizens were found to be inadmissible to the United States and placed on a flight to Mexico, April 23.