The fraudulent purchase of a washing machine at an Eau Claire store led to the discovery of an Altoona woman making credit cards with stolen information, police said.
Whitney J.L. Moore, 33, 606 Saxonwood Road, was charged this week in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of retail theft and 12 felony counts of identity theft.
A $2,500 signature bond was set for Moore, which prohibits her from having contact with Menards stores or possessing anyone else’s identifying information.
Moore returns to court Feb. 13.
According to the criminal complaint:
Moore bought a washing machine valued at $1,000 in late November at Menards on North Clairemont Avenue.
Menards officials and Eau Claire police determined Moore fraudulently used a North Dakota woman’s credit card information to make the purchase.
Menards officials alerted police on Dec. 28 that Moore was in the store.
Moore was searched by police and multiple blank credit cards were found in her pockets. The VISA and Chase cards did not have any number or identifying information on them.
A search of Moore’s van netted more credit cards. These VISA cards contained numbers and were listed to other people.
Police also found several scraps of paper that had credit card numbers written on them from North Dakota.
Moore said she bought the cards from a man in Minnesota.
Moore said she also bought the credit card numbers. She used them to put on blank credit cards.
Moore said there did not actually have to be numbers embossed on a card for it to be useful.
Moore said she only had to transfer the purchased credit card information to the card’s magnetic strip on the back.
Moore said she uses a machine to put the numbers on the card.
Moore confirmed she did this herself at her Altoona residence.
Moore believed she created about 20 fraudulent credit cards.
During their contact with Moore, authorities seized 11 credit cards that had embossed numbers but no names on them. There were also four credit card numbers with identifying information written on an envelope.
If convicted of the 13 charges, Moore could be sentenced to up to 37 years in prison.