ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) – The Elmira Police Department is investigating two cases where cloned credit cards were used to make purchases at two Rite Aid and Walgreens stores within the city.

Both cases reportedly appear to involve the same suspects. According to police, one of the accounts clones belongs to a victim in Arizona.

Bank account information can be obtained through various means and sources and then utilized to make fake gift, bank or credit cards. Identity theft through cyber-attacks, ATM/fuels station skimmer devices and pick pocketing of the physical cards themselves are just a few ways in which sensitive bank information can be obtained and then exploited.

The Elmira Police say retails stores are encouraged to be mindful of this criminal activity and educate their retail staff.

In both cases, the suspects had well over ten cards each that they would attempt to cycle through until one of the cards was accepted.

Pockets full of bank and gift cards should be a red flag. The purchase of new gift cards through the use of old gift cards is also a suspicious activity.

In a similar scheme, the “K1Crew” has been active in the northern parts of Pennsylvania and along the I-95 corridor. This particular group focuses on Target stores.

The cloned gift/bank cards require the cashier to punch the K1 key on the register in order for the transaction to go through.

If another retailer has an override key similar to the K1 at Target, the required use of said key should be a concern.

Police say that anyone with information should call the anonymous tip line at 607-271-HALT or the front desk at 607-737-5626.