5k stolen gift cards lead to arrest of 2 women in Braintree in connection with nationwide scam

BRAINTREE, Mass. — Two women are charged with stealing nearly 5,000 gift cards in connection to what police are calling a nationwide “gift card scam ring.”

On Monday, Braintree police said they were alerted that two women were seen removing gift cards from the display rack at CVS on Grove Street.

Officers located the suspect vehicle and eventually discovered four bags full of Apple, Nike, Sephora, and Visa gift cards. In total, they recovered 4,617 cards, police said.

“It was in plain sight, so it immediately caught their attention,” Deputy Chief Want said.

YanYan Liu and Na Dong, both of Flushing, New York, were placed under arrest and charged with shoplifting and receiving stolen property.

Police said the scam is happening across the country and involves “criminals” removing thousands of gift cards and then logging the card numbers, bar codes and corresponding PINs.

Then, police said, the scammers repackage the cards and place them back on display shelves in stores.

“When an unsuspecting customer selects the compromised gift card and loads it with funds at the register, criminals are regularly running these cards and PIN #’s through a database looking to spend the funds presumably online before the gift recipient does,” police said.

So far, Braintree police have not heard from any victims. But they are urging people, to be very careful.

“It’s sad to have people lost money at any time, but during the Holiday Season, it’s worse,” Want said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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