New York Man Arrested for Alleged Gift Card Scam in Chester County

Dong ShaoDong Shao /Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — A New York man faces charges in Chester County for his alleged involvement in a gift card scam that targeted local Giant Food Store locations. Authorities have identified Dong Shao, 33, of Flushing, New York, as the suspect behind several incidents of “gift card draining” reported in Westtown Township and East Goshen Township.

In March 2024, the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department launched an investigation into the scam. The scheme, known as card-draining, involves tampering with gift cards on store racks. Scammers scratch off the protective covering to reveal the card’s code, record the code, then replace the covering and return the card to the shelf. When a customer purchases the tampered card and loads funds onto it, the scammer uses the recorded code to drain the funds before the legitimate owner can use them.

Following the investigation, police identified Shao as the primary suspect. An arrest warrant was issued, and Shao was apprehended in New York and extradited to Pennsylvania.

Shao faces multiple charges, including possession and use of unlawful devices, access device fraud, and theft by deception. He was arrested on June 3, 2024.

Authorities remind the public that all charges are allegations. Shao is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The investigation remains ongoing, and further details may emerge as the case develops.

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