IMO it still is. What with all the bank fee’s, credit card fee’s, fee’s to do this and that with YOUR money. Be that as it may, hookers are (actually have been for awhile) using gift cards more and more. It’s a good idea. Flashing a plastic card is better than flashing a wad of money and easier to carry and less suspect if you happen to have a run in with Uncle Blue. You can still pay your bills and buy your groceries. I don’t know of any crack dealers that accept American Express though.
Uncle Blue has caught up. Here is the story:
“Instead of having a bunch of cash around, they have a handful of gift cards,” Moon police Chief Leo McCarthy said. “You automatically believe cash is an ill-gotten gain. But if you see a couple of gift cards, you might not think twice. It’s just another game people play.” (It’s not a game we enjoy playing… trust me.)
“It’s becoming more difficult to find cash on them,” North Fayette police Chief Jeffrey Falconer said.
Gift cards, sometimes called stored-value cards, easily are obtained and can be reloaded with amounts of money, McCarthy said. Visa, MasterCard and American Express issue the most popular types, he said.
In 2006, the Justice Department warned that prepaid gift cards make ideal instruments for money laundering from illegal activity with little risk of discovery and seizure by police. (Oh lovely, now a gift card is going to be used as ‘evidence’ of prostitution).
“The ones we’re working are still using cash, but (gift cards) may be next the next trend,” Findlay police Chief Jesse Lesko said. “They don’t like to give up the $5,000 or $6,000 they earned over a weekend.” (Holy CRAP, I’m in the wrong town!)
Pittsburgh police have not noticed an increase of gift cards on prostitution suspects. (Then what is the point of this story?)
“But, it definitely would make sense. In general, they would think it wouldn’t be as suspect as having a large amount of cash,” said Cmdr. Cheryl Doubt, who heads the bureau’s narcotics and vice division. “They’re smarter than we give them credit for sometimes.” (Ass…)
Moon police made one prostitution arrest from 2004 through 2007, but made 111 since — including 54 last year and 18 so far this year.
Departments along the Airport Corridor often work together as a “mini-task force,” McCarthy said. If they aren’t responding to specific complaints from hoteliers, detectives usually start investigations on the Internet.
“We could be up there everyday, to be honest,” Falconer said. “They’ll always be there. It’s the oldest profession, but we’re being more proactive.” (*eyeroll* No you’re not. Pro-active is finding solutions, not spitting people through a revolving door. The only thing you are being pro-active in is further exploitation of these women by arresting them, fining them, and letting them go so that you can arrest them and fine them again to fill up your piddly ass budget.)