Action 4 Investigates: Fake Credit Cards

All it takes is the swipe of a card and any and everything a person could want is at their fingertips. Unfortunately, for some merchants, taking the time to make sure those cards are genuine is a hard task, which could put them into the red. "If they don't follow procedures they could suffer a loss," said Mark Lacey with the U.S. Secret Service in McAllen. Lacey told Action 4 News that fake credit card are starting to become a common practice among counterfeiters.

A couple from Veracruz was arrested earlier this week at the Pharr International Bridge with at least 53 counterfeit credit cards and fake IDs.

Back in November, authorities arrested as many as 10 people running a scam using fake credit cards in Edinburg.

"They'll frequently come with multiple high value items," said Lacey. "They'll present a credit card and if that doesn't work they'll present another card and continue to do that until they find a card that, either works or has enough value on it so they can make that purchase."

Lacey said most of these 'fake cards' come from the country credited with helping keep the Rio Grande Valley's economy going--Mexico.

"Unfortunately, like in any society, there are a few bad apples and those bad apples are causing loss to our local area merchants," said Lacey. "Be vigilant, question something that doesn't look right."

Luckily, there are some quick and easy ways to spot a fake card.

The easiest thing to do is simply compare it to another card.

Look on the back of the card-- if it does not have a CVC number--it is fake.

Also, call the 1-800 number on the back to verify if the card is genuine.

Counterfeiters are using the numbers on stolen credit cards to make these purchases.

Lacey said if you reported your card stolen you are not responsible for the purchases made using that number.

The fees will be paid by either the business or credit card company.