Store clerks help cops nab alleged East Coast scammer in York

Betsy Joseph
Betsy Joseph

Wary store workers helped police in York catch a woman last week who is charged with 18 counts of financial card fraud and is suspected of running a scam up and down the East Coast of the United States, according to police.

Betsy Joseph, 22, who is on probation in North Carolina, is being held at the York County jail without bond after police said she was a flight risk.

Joseph had different sets of identification with different names, according to police and incident reports, including a Florida driver’s license on which she was identified at Jessica Jones.

The woman claimed the debit card with the name Betsy Joseph on it is different from the driver’s license because “I use that to get into the clubs.”

The woman was using credit cards from Egypt in a scam involving online payment systems and phone apps, said Lt. Rich Caddell of the York Police Department.

“We found that she had done this in Pineville in North Carolina and Rock Hill and in York,” Caddell said.

Banking officers who talked to police said the scam had been going on as far away as Florida.

Joseph was identified as the woman who went to a Bi-Lo grocery store Wednesday afternoon on Liberty Street in York and bought eight money orders worth $350 each using what later was found to be a stolen account, according to an incident report. Other stores then were alerted.

About an hour later employees at a second Bi-Lo, on U.S. 321 on the other side of York, alerted police a woman believed to be the same person was trying to use stolen credit card information and phone apps to get thousands of dollars through money orders, according to the reports.

The clerk stalled for time as police were called. Joseph was arrested as she exited the store, the report states.

“We wouldn’t have been able to make the arrest without the help of the employees,” Caddell said.

Court records from the North Carolina Department of Corrections and Information obtained by the York Police Department show Joseph is on probation in North Carolina from a 2015 conviction for obtaining property under false pretenses.

The reports also say at least two men, who have not been caught, are part of the scam.