GREENSBURG (KDKA) — An alert postal clerk helped police bust a man in Westmoreland County for fraud, and investigators say it may be part of a larger scheme.
Post office officials are looking into the possibility of a larger scheme after a man in Westmoreland County allegedly tried to use stolen credit card numbers to rip off the post office.
A sticker on the front door of the Trafford post office lets customers know credit cards are welcome, and investigators say that’s exactly why 23-year-old Hovhannes Urfalyan, of North Hollywood, Calif., stopped in. He allegedly tried to buy $1,600 in post office money orders using fraudulent credit cards. Urfalyan managed to get a $900 transaction through, then his alleged scam went south.
KDKA has learned the clerk working inside the post office realized something was going on and kept purposefully entering the wrong credit card numbers over and over again in an effort to delay the whole situation. The delay worked. Someone called the Trafford Police and they arrived within moments.
Urfalyan apparently had no clue the police had arrived until an officer was standing directly behind him. Investigators say Urfalyan quickly tried to cancel another attempted transaction, but it was too late. Urfalyan was arrested and charged with access device fraud.
KDKA has learned Urfalyan is believed to be part of a larger team hitting multiple local post offices using the same scheme.
We’ve also discovered just moments before Urfalyan walked into the post office, an email was sent out warning postal service employees of suspicious credit card money order purchases.
Urfalyan is in the Westmoreland County Jail, held on $100,000 straight cash bond.