Ontario man charged in alleged $2 million gift card scam

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We’re all used to getting gift cards around the holidays, commonly around $25, $50 or $100.

Police say criminals have started to use them – 37,000 in all – to commit some pretty significant fraud, more than $2 million in total.

Investigation into an ‘organized hierarchy’ has uncovered a network of people committing financial frauds and identity thefts all in a bid to gain money from stolen gift cards.

The charges are in relation to a separate investigation called Project HYDRA that began in September 2020.

During an investigation, a printing business in Vaughan, was raided on Sept. 2, 2021 at which point evidence was discovered.

The alleged fraud stolen ha stolen cards from various chain businesses throughout Canada. Police disclosed that suspects stole banking information from unwitting victims and then used that information to create phony identifications in relation to the cards.

The gift cards would then be ‘manipulated’ and reintroduced into store circulation.

The press release said “many cards were examined and found to have been altered and prepared for distribution back into stores.”

On Dec. 15 Igor and Vladislav Tsyganok, 51 and 25, of Vaughan, were further charged with using a device to forge or falsify credit cards, forgery and fraud over $5,000 among others.

This article was originally sourced by www.yorkregion.com.