Officials: Two people used fake credit cards that may be linked to Target data breach

Police didn't say if the pair were directly involved in the data breach or merely purchased stolen card information

By , IDG News Service |  Security

Two Mexican nationals have been arrested in Texas after they allegedly attempted to enter the U.S. with fraudulent credit cards that could be tied to the massive Target data breach.

Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Mary Carmen Vaquera Garcia and Daniel Dominguez Guardiola, both of Monterrey, Mexico, on Sunday at a bridge connecting Mexico and the U.S., according to a news release.

These two fugitives were detected by our CBP frontline officers due to our ability to query everyone seeking to enter the United States at our ports of entry, said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas, in a statement. Having access to law-enforcement databases allows us to apprehend outstanding fugitives for other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Garcia and Guardiola pulled up to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge on Sunday morning, whereupon they presented officials with Mexican passports and U.S. visas, according to the news release: "A CPB officer received a primary systems lookout for both indicating possible arrest warrants, therefore both travelers were secured and escorted to secondary for further inspection."

The pair's identities were confirmed along with the presence of arrest warrants for credit card misuse issued by the McAllen, Texas police department.

"Apparently, both individuals had been involved in credit card misuse/abuse where fraudulent or alleged cloned cards had been utilized to make purchases at local retail stores in McAllen," according to the news release. CPB officers found nearly 100 allegedly fake credit cards on Garcia and Guardiola, it adds.

CBP officers arrested them and then turned them over to McAllen police, according to the release.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez told the Monitor newspaper that his department suspects the cards were tied to the Target data breach.

Rodriguez didn't tell the paper whether police believe the pair were directly involved in the data breach, or merely purchased stolen card information.

More information on the arrests wasn't immediately available but was expected to be released during a news conference later Monday.

Target officials have said up to 110 million customers may have been affected by the breach, which occurred during the busy holiday shopping season. When it first announced the breach, Target said about 40 million customers were affected.

The retailer has told customers they won't be liable for any fraudulent charges associated with the breach, and is offering them a year of credit monitoring at no charge.

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