Debit card scam at retail locations in Lee Co.
Mon, 07 Mar 2011 15:17:00 GMT —
UPDATED: March 15 at 2:38 p.m.
Police Chief Tom Crew says the fraudulent charges have stopped.
The scam lasted about 6 days.
He told KHQA's Brooke Hasch that they have not tracked down the location from where the cuplrits managed the scam from but that there was definitely more than one person involved.
He says most transactions were happening simultaneously. The investigation continues.
UPDATED: March 10 at 10:46 a.m.
Keokuk Police Chief Tom Crew says reports are down of people having a problem with compromised accounts.
He was recently getting at least 30 calls per day, but that number has dropped.
Crew told KHQA that pin numbers have not been compromised, investigators have determined WalMart is not the source of the problem, and that there is not a problem with checks.
On Facebook, Jeannette Ramsey asked us, "Did the police meet with financial experts yesterday?"
They were able to meet with financial experts and are continuing to monitor the situation.
Check this story later for more updates.
A major debit card scam has hit Lee County.
Update: The Keokuk Police Department told KHQA it's received more than 80 reports of debit card fraud as of Tuesday evening. We also spoke with Lee County Sheriff Jim Scholl, who says his investigators are certain there are more than 100 cases total. Also, Clark County Sheriff Paul Gaudette told us he's received two reports of the same fraud, one from Kahoka and one from Wayland, Missouri. Both card numbers were used for purchases at a Texas Walmart.
Keokuk police are investigating multiple reports of unauthorized debit card transactions. While the culprit is still not known, KHQA continues to receive numerous comments from shoppers in the area. They say the thefts are taking place after swiping their cards as debit.
"I've been getting text messages on my phone and computer saying someone's hacked into the computers at Walmart, getting money off debit cards. So we've refused to use ours until they get it settled," said Megan Young, a retail shopper in Keokuk.
One Keokuk resident got charged $2,011.03. Angelhill91 told KHQA by mid-afternoon, all her money was put back into her account by the bank. She also filed a report with the police dept. and says there were more people in line when she left the police dept with their bank info.
Many shoppers have claimed they started having problems after shopping at the Keokuk Walmart.
"I got charges on my account also...from a Target located in Texas. It was my credit card, though. I just recently moved to the area and the Keokuk Walmart was the only place we had used that card. My bank called me before they even charged my account, then they declined the charges. Thank Goodness," said Natasha Presswood Kraushaar.
Walmart Spokesman Dan Fogle says the store has looked into the issue.
Walmart takes great pride in the manner in which we protect our customers TM credit card information. When we first heard of this happening, we conducted a physical inspection of each of our credit card machines at cash registers in the store. We have also done a subsequent re-check to make sure we didn TMt miss anything. We have not found any evidence that this could have happened as a result of a purchase made at one of our registers," said Fogle.
Keokuk shoppers tells us that after swiping their cards as debit, they're finding $500 to $900 in extra charges on their billing statements. It seems someone is using shopeer's card numbers for purchases at other stores.
We asked the Keokuk State Bank (KSB) if it's an easy process to get your money back. They told us that account holders should come by the bank to fill out an affidavit and then reimbursement will follow immediately.
Keokuk Police Chief Tom Crew says he's been in touch with the FBI, located in Cedar Rapids, and the Lee County Sheriff's office regarding the unauthorized transactions that are happening all over the Lee County area. By midday Monday, the police department had only received five official police reports of thefts. Crew stressed that people need to file police reports about the thefts so the police can follow what's happening and be able to track down the culprit or culprits.
They have been unable to narrow it down, but Crew said that whomever is committing these crimes is conducting "test runs" using the stolen card numbers. Once they get away with smaller offenses they will begin to hit the unsuspected victims' accounts with very large debits.
It is reported that unauthorized purchases are happening as far away as Texas and Michigan and they are in the hundreds of dollars range.
One KHQA viewer, Chris Happs, said on Facebook that they got their account for $602.51. Another viewer, Nikki Saltzgaver-Schrader said, "We had $700.00 taken from us on Thursday. They charged at Toys-R-Us and Macy's in Florida and New York. I heard from a Walmart employee that they were alerted at the start of their shift that the problem hadn't been fixed. Luckily our bank didn't process the charges. We got our money back."
We will continue to investigate the situation and will bring you more details as they become available, so check this story later and watch KHQA's News at Five, KHQA's Evening News at 6 p.m. and KHQA's Late News at 10 p.m.
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