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Paso police searching for suspects in credit fraud ring

Paso Robles Police Department

Police in Paso Robles are investigating an identity theft ring that worked its way up the Central Coast. 

The police department believes the three suspects now under arrest are tied to a larger group that came up from Los Angeles and Long Beach. They think at least two more women are still actively trying to use counterfeit credit cards possibly in the area. 

Employees at local banks alerted each other Monday as they noticed several women withdrawing large amounts of money at various branches and using different credit cards. 

Those women have been identified as 27-year-old Rana Payton and 29-year-old Christina Jones, both of Los Angeles. As of Tuesday evening, they had not been located and police were asking for the public's help in finding them.

"What they do is they use credit card skimmers, which are either attached to gas pumps, [or] at restaurants, where criminals will capture people's credit card information via the mag strip on the back of peoples' cards," Sergeant Tod Rehner said. "They will take that credit card information and put it on their own credit cards, so now their credit card becomes a clone of the stolen card."

The sergeant says it's best to use credit instead of debit cards when traveling because it's easier to detect fraud and clear up bogus charges.