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Credit card scam at Gwinnett movie theater could affect hundreds

Tiffany Webb, left, and Ricardo Montanez Blalock, have been charged in connection with a credit card skimming operation at a Gwinnett County movie theater, police said. (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)
Tiffany Webb, left, and Ricardo Montanez Blalock, have been charged in connection with a credit card skimming operation at a Gwinnett County movie theater, police said. (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)

The identities of hundreds of people who used ATM and credit cards at Studio Movie Grill near Duluth may be compromised after police discovered a skimming operation at the Gwinnett County movie theater, authorities said Wednesday.

Two former employees have been charged in connection with the “elaborate scam,” which started in May, Cpl. Deon Washington said.

“According to managers from the business, there are hundreds of ATM cards that (the suspects) had access to during this time period,” he said. “That means the actual number of victims may be quite large.”

So far, there are eight confirmed victims, Washington said.

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Tiffany Webb, 23, is in custody on eight counts of financial identity fraud and one count of possession of tools for the commission of a crime. Ricardo “Monte” Montanez Blalock, 26, is wanted by police on eight counts of financial identity fraud, Washington said.

Webb, who worked as a server at Studio Movie Grill, told police she provided customers’ credit card information to Blalock at the end of her shift. In return, Blalock paid Webb $1,000 in cash weekly, according to police.

Detectives found a portable magnetic-stripe card reader that was used “to further this crime,” Washington said. It can store data from more than 8,000 cards.

“Anyone who has visited the business during the last three months should know that their financial identity was possibly compromised,” Washington said. “Victims should immediately contact their bank and have them issue a new account number with a new ATM card number. In addition, report the crime to law enforcement.”

Anyone with information about the scam is asked to call police at 770-513-5300. Tipsters can also remain anonymous, and be eligible for the reward by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting crimestoppersatlanta.org.

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