SALEM — Police are investigating reports of identity theft Wednesday night directed at Target stores in Salem, Danvers and Saugus.
A couple of suspects were unsuccessful trying to purchase electronics at the Danvers Target, police in Salem and Danvers said.
Around 9:31 p.m., Salem police got a call from a resident from the western part of the state that he got a call from his credit card company warning him that someone was charging large amounts on a credit card at the Salem Target, 227 Highland Ave., said police Capt. Thomas Griffin, commander of the criminal investigation division.
Griffin said the card was reportedly opened using the victim’s information.
Someone charged $6,000 worth of gift cards and electronics at the store, Griffin said.
The scammer or scammers tried to rip off the Target store at Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, but they were unsuccessful.
Danvers police were called by store security at 8:08 p.m. when a couple tried to buy various electronics with gift cards, but they left the store when they were unable to make the purchase, Danvers police Capt. Pat Ambrose said. Police were unable to locate the pair after they left the store.
“Unfortunately, they cleared the area,” Ambrose said. “We believe we have some leads, and we will be working on them,” Ambrose said.
Griffin said it appears the scammers may have been successful at a Target in Saugus, which triggered the alarm with the credit card company.
Griffin said the scam may have originated in the New Jersey area, and the department is following up with law enforcement authorities in that state.
Salem police Detective Kevin St. Pierre and Sgt. Kristian Hanson are investigating. Griffin said he was not sure if the identity theft was related to last year’s massive data breach of credit cards at Target.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.