“…a number of guests who suspected someone had entered their rooms and stolen their credit card information, even though they were still in possession of their credit cards. Charges usually were applied to the credit cards several days after the guests had departed the hotel…”
“…While monitoring the hidden camera’s video feed real-time from the hotel security office, Jose Ramirez observed Margarita Fernandez Abreu remove a small device from her pants pocket and then slide approximately three of the debit cards through the device…”
The Stephen F Austin set up an elaborate ruse to trick a hotel maid into revealing she had stolen the credit and debit card numbers of hotel guests.
Possible suspects in the case were narrowed down to maid Margarita Abreu, the only employee who had entered the room with an electronic key card. Knowing that, the hotel managers set up a hotel room that appeared to be occupied but wasn’t. A hidden camera was placed in the room that focused on the coffee table and debit cards.
”Margarita also looked through the purse that was on the table as well. Margarita then concealed the device back in her pocket and continued cleaning the room.” After two detectives viewed the video and identified the object as a “card skimmer” that captured and saved the data. That data could be later downloaded and re-encoded to create “clone” credit cards.
Abreu was arrested on charges of credit card abuse, a state jail felony. Her bail was set at $15,000.