Instagram Used in Scam Against PSECU
A Pennsylvania man being held in a county jail on a $1 million bond is accused of using a popular social media site to make more than $62,000 in fraudulent check deposits and steal more than $22,000 from the $4.1 billion Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union in Harrisburg, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office.
Masharad Tunis Carter, 24, of Lower Paxton Township, Pa., is facing 399 theft, forgery and conspiracy charges.
Carter, a PSECU member, allegedly used the social media site Instagram to lure debit card holders and offered them cash to use their debit cards to deposit checks into their accounts, according to the police affidavit. Police found that some of the fraudulent checks were stolen.
After Carter allegedly deposited more than $62,000 in fraudulent checks in 14 different PSECU accounts from December 2012 to November 2013, he then withdrew $22,640 from ATMs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to a police affidavit filed last week in Magisterial District Court in Harrisburg.
Police began investigating the alleged theft after receiving information from a loss prevention investigator at PSECU.
PSECU video surveillance showed a person depositing checks into credit union accounts using the debit cards and pin numbers provided by most of the credit union members, according to police. However, police also said some PSECU members insisted that their debit card was stolen, but they were unable to explain how the suspect knew their PIN number.
One of the accounts Carter used belonged to Yasim Khaif Carter, 22, also of Lower Paxton Township, who is facing 34 theft counts for allegedly stealing more than $800 from PSECU, according to PennLive, a news site that covers central Pennsylvania.
The police investigation also revealed Masharad Carter allegedly deposited fraudulent checks into his own PSECU account.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Masharad Carter on Nov. 29 before Magisterial District Court Judge Barbara W. Pianka.