Employees at New York City’s Saks Fifth Avenue store were allegedly having a field day with customer credit card numbers. More than $400,000 worth of store merchandise was purchased by employees using customer’s stolen credit card numbers in a four-month scam involving six employees of the store, reports the Business Insider on Sept. 17.
This scam was elaborate and the store employees had a ring leader among them, who kept the almost half a million dollars’ worth of merchandise at her home. The alleged Saks kingpin would obtain the customer card numbers and pass them along to the employees with the directions on what to purchase with the card.
According to the Huffington Post today, this is not a Saks only problem, reports security expert, J.R. Roberts. This type of crime is blatant in many retail stores.
This Saks’ employee ring of thieves even went as far as to employee “fake shoppers” to deliver goods to the home of the ring leader in Queens. Saks reports that customer security is there “utmost priority” so all the accounts of the 22 customers who were hacked have their accounts restored back to normal.
Roberts said that the low wages paid in retail stores are one of the problems when it comes to employee theft. People aren’t that invested in staying with a job that pays very little so it breeds a type of transit working environment with a high turnover of employees. Folks aren’t as loyal as you might find at a higher paid job and employee theft is one of the side effects of this.
ABC News reports that the alleged ring leader, Tamara Williams, 36, accessed the store’s computers and stole customers’ credit card data. She then shared the information with five sales associates, four men and a woman.
Williams allegedly gave her partners in crime lists of what they should purchase with the stolen card numbers from the store. Then the merchandise was whisked to Williams’ house, sometimes by hired fake shoppers!
Surveillance cameras picked up the entire four-month-long scheme and when law enforcement raided Williams’ apartment on Friday they had all the evidence they needed after finding the hundreds of stolen items from Saks.
Louboutins are not in everybody’s cards and that is just the way life is. To take this risk just to get your mitts on the brands of the rich and famous was bound to be a losing battle in the end, as these employees found out.
Did these employees think that the shoppers wouldn’t pay attention to the credit card statements because they shopped there often and wouldn’t notice the extra items? So what do Saks Fifth Avenue employees steal when they break bad?
They helped themselves to everything from handbags to shoes and all those expensive items in between. Six employees from one store sounds like quite the ring going on and if nothing else these employees were completely brazen to think they could get away with this much merchandise. Only 22 customer accounts were involved, which makes it ludicrous to think that someone wouldn’t notice such a high bill from Saks. It is not as if they spread it over a few hundred people or so.
All six employees have been charged with grand larceny and identity theft. This just goes to show you that your credit card numbers are not safe anywhere if one of the oldest and one of the most highly regarded retailer in the nation is in the middle of a customer hacking ring.
Saks Fifth Avenue is the epitome of grand fashion an it is known for selling only the best of the best merchandise. To say you got it at Saks, says you’ve made it to the top because the average person on the street can’t afford the prices found in this store.
The Business insider said that this scheme was so elaborate that one would think this wasn’t the first time this was attempted by the ring leader or maybe by one of the other employees. This wasn’t just a small shoplifting gig, this was big time!
Saks said that all the customers whose credit cards have been used as part of this crime have been notified. All the fraudulent credit card charges that occurred during this crime have been cleared from their accounts.