ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Community Calendar

Music with Mr. Mike
10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Charlestown

Wild About Reading
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Charlestown

Mah Jongg
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

GED Prep Classes
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Westerly

FOPA Members Meeting
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Westerly

Strength and Stability
9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Charlestown

Free Income Tax Help
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Westerly

Music with Mr. Mike
9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Charlestown

... View all of today's events


Stay Connected


ADVERTISEMENT


Credit card scam leads police to local restaurant


WESTERLY — At least two dozen patrons of China Buffet Restaurant in The Crossings plaza on Franklin Street were targets of a credit card scam, Police Chief Edward St. Clair said Friday.

Police began to receive complaints from consumers regarding fraudulent charges on their credit cards last week, St. Clair said. Some card companies will immediately remove charges from a credit cardholder’s card, but others require filing a police report, he said.

The large number of complaints in a short period of time was unusual, according to St. Clair, who said the department is continuing to receive complaints.

As detectives began working with local banks to compare recent transactions of those cardholders, the investigation showed a common location visited by all credit and debit cardholders — China Buffet. Some of the charges go back to October.

It appears that credit cards were either skimmed using a device that plugs into a phone, or copied in some other way, St. Clair said. The card numbers can then be used to create a counterfeit card. Often, he said, the cards are used to purchase other debit or credit cards at convenience stores or other retail outlets, although some victims found charges for items such as electronics from Walmart on their statements.

Meanwhile, police went to China Buffet Thursday and seized the business’ computers, charge card machines and cash registers. Police searched the restaurant and patrons were told they could finish their meals and leave.

The restaurant, owned by Tong Lu, who owns a similar restaurant in East Greenwich, was allowed to remain open and no arrests have been made, St. Clair said. A forensic examination is being conducted on items seized from the building. A patron who dined at the restaurant Thursday night, who said there was a large crowd, noted that the restaurant was not accepting credit cards, “just cash.”

A woman answering the phone at the restaurant Friday afternoon said Lu was unavailable to speak and she was not proficient in English. When asked whether police had taken cash registers, credit card scanners and computers from the business, she said she couldn’t answer because of a language barrier.

The 8,700-square-foot restaurant is located on Airport Road, where the former Ume Seafood Buffet and Bar was housed.



Back to LatestNews
Top Stories of the Week

Randall’s Ordinary sold, will return …
NORTH STONINGTON — One of the oldest homes in the area is being saved, much to the delight of local historians. Randall’s Ordinary, the old … more ...

Police logs: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 …
Westerly Jared C. Manfredi, 41, of 18 Cosmo St., Westerly, was charged Saturday with domestic disorderly conduct and domestic simple assault and/or battery. Joseph C. … more ...

Police Logs: Sunday, March 29, 2015 …
Westerly Gary S. Moniz, 49, of 71 Lakeside Drive, Coventry, was charged Friday, on a bench warrant issued by 4th District Court, with assault or … more ...

Massad wants all Burdick documents aired …
WESTERLY — As part of what he says is a continuing effort to clear his client’s name and reputation, Gregory Massad is seeking a host … more ...

Two directors leaving Washington Trust board of directors …
WESTERLY — The board of directors of Washington Trust Bancorp Inc. has announced a dividend increase of 2 cents per share and set the company’s … more ...

Latest Comments