Credit card scam targets colleges, charities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For colleges and charities across Charlotte, finances depend on fundraising but now, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the institutions are being targeted by dubious donations.

Central Piedmont Community College was the first to alert officers when a donor requested a $9,000 refund.

Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau had not heard about the new scam until Eyewitness News told him.

The scammer makes a donation online using a fake or stolen credit card. Then, he or she contacts the college or charity, claiming there’s an error in the amount and that they want a refund to a different account number.

“The red flag really needs to be flying in your face when they’re asking for a refund to a different card,” Bartholomy said.

CPCC’s staff was suspicious.

“It was flagged early in the process and reported to the credit card company,” college spokesman Jeff Lowrance said.

While CPCC caught the attempted crime, police say other colleges have been fooled into refunds.

The BBB said it’s bracing for a big problem.

“We feel this is the tip of the iceberg and once they see this is going to work, it’s game on,” Bartholomy said.

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