Carnival Passengers Arrested for Credit Card Fraud Onboard

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Four travelers just off Carnival Celebration have been arrested for credit card fraud onboard the ship amounting to tens of thousands of dollars. The individuals were arrested upon debarkation of the ship’s most recent sailing, and are currently being held on significant bond amounts.

Credit Card Fraud on Carnival Celebration

All cruise travelers know that onboard expenses can quickly add up, particularly for guests who enjoy time in the casino, but four passengers aboard Carnival Celebration recently weren’t spending their own money – they were committing substantial credit card fraud.

All four passengers were arrested by the Miami-Dade Police Department when the 180,000-gross-ton cruise ship returned to her homeport on Sunday, November 5, 2023. The ship was just finishing a 7-night Western Caribbean sailing that had visited Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico as well as Roatan, Honduras.

According to WPLG Local 10, the four individuals are Decari Demetrius Cradle (age 29) of Goodlettsville, Tennessee; Chanell Latrice Howard (age 31) of Stone Mountain, Georgia; Dominick Maurice Howard (age 31) of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and Gilbert Salcido (age 31) of Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: sallystap / Shutterstock

No details about whether or not the individuals are connected or conspired together have been released, nor is it known if they were traveling in the same or connected staterooms.

The four travelers used multiple credit cards for onboard purchases, with spending ranging from $2,700 to nearly $20,000 each. While most of the charges were made onboard, Howard reportedly also used a stolen card to book the cruise itself. Howard’s spending was also the highest, at nearly $20,000 in charges.

Howard also cashed out casino credits purchased with the stolen cards, and nearly $11,000 (USD) in cash was found in his luggage by US Customs and Border Protection upon debarkation.

Carnival Cruise Credit Card Fraud Suspects
Carnival Cruise Credit Card Fraud Suspects

The fraud was noted onboard when the individuals’ cards were declined, and none of the four were able to produce physical copies of the cards to correlate the credit cards with their identification. The actual owners of the cards have not been identified, and it is possible the cards may be counterfeit.

All four perpetrators currently remain in custody at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, being held on individual bond amounts from $16,000 to $26,000.

In February 2023, a 31-year-old woman, Lexus Moorer of Raleigh, North Carolina, was accused of using eight stolen credit cards for a vacation aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas. Her fraud was discovered, with charges adding up to $22,425 (USD). She was likewise arrested by Miami-Dade Police once the ship returned to port.

Protecting One’s Credit Cards

Credit card theft and fraudulent charges can be rampant, and it is essential that all travelers seek to protect their cards from unauthorized purchases and use.

Keeping cards safe and not leaving them out where unauthorized individuals could access them is critical, and when using cards online, it is important to shop only from trusted, secure websites and retailers.

The fewer “linked” credit cards one uses for different apps and websites, the safer overall accounts will be, and thoroughly reviewing statements each month can help detect any unauthorized charges or suspicious activity.

Travelers can also take additional steps to protect their cards while on a cruise. First, do not take along every credit card while traveling – only bring those cards attached to cruise ship purchases or linked to an onboard account, for example, and leave other cards in a secure location at home. Notifying one’s credit card company about travel dates can also help flag any suspicious charges more quickly.

Keeping cards securely in the in-cabin safe while onboard can also ensure they don’t get lost on the ship.

Most credit card companies offer fraud protection, but suspicious charges must be reported immediately and the resolution process can vary for different financial institutions.

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