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Man Charged with Credit Card Theft

Fairfax County police have charged a 20-year-old Centreville man with credit-card theft. He is Camilo Gomez of 14307 Summer Tree Road, Apt. F, in the Lakeside Apartments in Centre Ridge.

In a May 25 affidavit for a warrant to search his apartment for possible evidence, Det. Robert Athing, a financial crimes detective with the Criminal Investigations Bureau, detailed the case against him.

ATHING WROTE that, on May 23, he was contacted by FSV (Financial Stored Value) Payment Systems, Client Services Department, in Houston, Texas. FSV reported that, sometime in April, unknown people had hacked into its main computer system.

The compromised data included customers' names, addresses, account histories — and the confidential PIN which enables account holders to access their FSV accounts. FSV offers a card through which account holders may add dollars to their accounts and actually use their cards as debit cards. Each account is funded through electronic, funds transfers by the card holder's employer.

"FSV maintains an account in the name, Gabriel Trejo, of Atlanta," wrote Athing. "When the customer opened his account, the customer-service representative had misspelled the name and entered the customer's name incorrectly as 'Trejo,' when the customer name should be spelled as 'Tredo'. This is how FSV knows that this account was compromised by hackers and not a random act of identity theft."

With the compromised information, explained the detective, a duplicate card commonly called "white plastic" can be manufactured by thieves. Then these cards may be used at ATM machines or POS terminals to conduct transactions. Wrote Athing: "FSV has recorded numerous fraudulent ATM and POS transactions occurring in the Centreville area."

According to the detective, on May 16, a person purporting to be FSV customer Gabriel Trejo of Atlanta contacted FSV by telephone. "The customer requested that a new card be shipped to Trejo at Comfort Suites, 13980 Metrotech Drive, Room 206, in Chantilly, Va.," he wrote. "'Trejo' represented that he was a guest at that hotel. FSV confirmed with the true cardholder that he was not staying in Comfort Suites in Chantilly."

LATER, HOTEL employees there told Athing that, on May 19, around 7 p.m., a male telephoned the hotel's front desk and inquired about its policy on accepting a package on his behalf if he wasn't currently registered as a hotel guest.

"The caller stated that his travel plans may be altered and he is unsure whether he will be a hotel guest on May 24 when his package will arrive [there]," wrote Athing. "The customer made a reservation under the name Michael Williams and his wife, Vickie Ogilvie Tredo."

The detective arranged with FSV to ship the credit card via overnight delivery to Comfort Suites. Then, he wrote, "On May 24, Camilo Gomez was arrested while claiming the package which contained the credit card not in his name."

Police charged him with one count of credit-card theft, and transported him to the Adult Detention Center. He was released the same day on $5,000 bond and has a July 26 court date. On May 25, police executed the search warrant at Gomez' home and seized a Gateway computer.