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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Metropolitan Police Department says they are looking into a fraud scheme involving PayPal MasterCard prepaid debit cards that were stolen from stores.

Police said, the suspects seem to be using the cards to "exploit an often misunderstood feature of Point of Sale Systems at restaurants and retail stores, which allows the merchant to approve an offline transaction for a card."

According to authorities, merchants believe the charges have been approved when they actually have not.

MPD said, if Paypal Mastercard prepaid debit cards transactions are not allowed, merchants may be able to avoid these incidents from happening. MPD suggests that the merchant contacts MasterCard or Paypal if a card is being used.

Authorities said, validity of a PayPal Mastercard prepaid debit card can also be confirmed by the name "PayPal Customer" along with a 16 digit number and the PayPal logo in the upper left hand corner.

The Metropolitan Police Department is asking any retailers with information about PayPal MasterCard Prepaid Debit Cards, which have been stolen from their stores, or who have been the victim of this Fraud Scheme to file a police report.

Anyone who has information regarding these crimes should call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a serious crime committed in the District of Columbia.

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