In June, 2013, Abington Police investigated three different cases where American Express Gift Cards were ordered using an Abington resident’s credit card account without their knowledge or authorization. The gift cards, which were for amounts between $1,000 and $2,000, would then be delivered to the card owner’s home by UPS. During two of these UPS deliveries, a man appeared outside of the delivery address and in one case attempted to claim he was the homeowner and requested, unsuccessfully, that the delivery be given to him. In another case the man told the homeowner that he worked for UPS and was there to pick up a package that had been delivered to them by mistake. The homeowner became suspicious and did not relinquish the package. Abington Police investigated and determined that the common denominator between all three compromised accounts was that the victims had previously used them at the Abington Post Office.
In August, 2013, Abington Police investigated two cases of credit card fraud that also seemed to involve the Abington Post Office. In both of these cases the victims checked their statements and discovered that shortly after they used their credit cards at the Abington Post Office, the card account was used by someone else without their knowledge or authorization. In the second of those cases which was reported on August 17, 2013, the victim discovered that the first unauthorized use was by someone named “Rashaad SCHELL”. This victim found a photo of a Rashaad SCHELL on the Internet and recognized him as the employee he dealt with at the Abington Post Office. Abington Detectives determined that a second employee of Abington Post Office, Daryl MATTHEWS, was also involved in the scheme.
On September 5, 2013, both MATTHEWS and SCHELL surrendered to Abington Police and were charged with identity theft, theft by deception, criminal conspiracy, forgery and other related charges. They have both been arraigned and are currently in custody. One of the ways they stole credit card numbers was by using a smart phone set to video record. The phone was left on the counter and when the customer handed their card over to be swiped, the suspects would quickly hold it over the phone and record the numbers. The accounts were then used for a variety of purchases from merchants; for the American Express Gift Cards; and to purchase tickets to Great Adventure, Adventure Aquarium and other events.
Although additional suspects may be involved in this crime and additional persons charged as the investigation proceeds, there is no indication that any other Post Office employees are involved. Postal Authorities have worked closely with Abington Police in this investigation as well as Detectives from Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Abington Police have identified at least 20 additional victims who had their credit card accounts compromised in this manner but suspect that there may be others. Anyone who suspects that there credit card account was compromised at the Abington Post Office, and who has not yet been contacted by police, is asked to call Detective Shawn Nisbet at firstname.lastname@example.org or Detective Sergeant Steve Fink at 267-536-1111 email@example.com