Costa Mesa police arrested Scott Raffa, 39, on suspicion of burglary, identity theft and credit card and check fraud and Shirley Sager, 33, on suspicion of burglary, identity theft, credit card fraud and giving false identification to police March 25, police said.
Workers at a Costa Mesa Radio Shack, 2075 Newport Blvd., spotted Sager at the store and called police when they recognized her from a previous credit card fraud incident, according to police. A police officer who responded to the scene and searched Sager found tools that could be used to make fake credit cards, according to police.
A subsequent search of Raffa and his vehicle found additional tools allegedly used to make fake credit cards, leading to his arrest, according to police. Raffa also was found with what is believed to be stolen property from a residential burglary in Anaheim used to make a fraudulent check, according to police.
Police suspect Sager and Raffa used stolen identities to create fake credit cards and checks. The magnetic strips on the fake cards were de-magnetized and new names applied to the cards, according to police. When a de-magnetized card would not scan properly at a store, the cashier would be forced to manually key in the credit card resulting in a successful purchase, according to police. Investigators suspect Sager and Raffa would return to the same stores several times if they made one successful purchase.
Police warned merchants to look out for Visa gift cards that do not have raised numbers like a regular credit card, making them easier to manufacture. The fake gift cards have a clear plastic film stuck to them that reveal a blank card when peeled back. Retailers should also look for suspicious-looking checks that customers cannot verify right away, according to police.
Anyone with more information or who believes they may have been a victim should call Kim at (714) 754-5364.