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Posted at 07:05 PM ET, 08/11/2011

Former waiter charged with stealing credit card numbers

A former waiter at a TGI Fridays restaurant in Laurel was indicted Thursday on charges he copied and sold the numbers of 73 credit cards, Prince George’s authorities said.

Brian K. Adams, 21, of Elkridge, was indicted on 16 charges, including theft, identity theft, and conspiracy to commit theft, State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said in a news conference outside the Upper Marlboro courthouse.

Adams allegedly carried out the scheme from December 2009 through April 2010. Authorities hoped to have Adams in custody by Thursday night, Alsobrooks said.

Adams allegedly carried out the scheme from December 2009 through April 2010. Authorities hoped to have Adams in custody by Thursday night, Alsobrooks said.

The scheme came to light after two Secret Service employees ate at the restaurant, and noticed shortly thereafter that they had unauthorized charges on their credit cards, Alsobrooks said.

The employees notified Secret Service agents in the Baltimore field office, who launched an investigation, authorities said.

The agents collaborated on the probe with the state’s attorney’s office, said Tim Reilly, assistant to the special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office.

Authorities said the Adams is not alleged to have used the credit card numbers himself. Rather, prosecutors believe he used a hand-held device to copy the numbers — a practice known as “skimming” — and then sold the numbers to people throughout the country and even overseas.

Alsobrooks urged anyone who believes they may have been a victim of the scheme to contact her office.

Alsobrooks said the Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen annually, by skimming or other means.

A manager at the TGI Fridays in Laurel directed an inquiry to a public relations firm.

A spokeswoman for the firm said TGI Fridays released this statement: “We have cooperated fully with the authorities in their investigation involving the activities involving a former employee. Additionally, we have reviewed our credit card processes to further strengthen the control measures we have in place.”

By  |  07:05 PM ET, 08/11/2011

 
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