Leaving Card Users Broke; Local Debit Card Scam

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Authorities across Washington County are investigating numerous debit card scams reported within the last week.

"Surely enough they alerted us that there was someone spending our debit card in Michigan at a Walmart and they were able to get all our money out of our checking account," explains Marietta resident, Kelly Mullins and she isn't alone.

There have recently been reports across Washington County of debit cards being wiped clean.

"Right in front of me it said available balance, zero,' and for a minute I'm just kind of in shock, staring at the computer screen. Its just a few hundred dollars, that to me really isn't the point, it's just the fact that it's so easy for these criminals to get into our hard earned money and just spend it on whatever they choose they need that day," explains Mullins.

Whenever anyone scans a card the information is uploaded from the store to the bank.

"And what they're doing is they're actually capturing that information as it goes through the air, so they can be sitting in the parking lot with one of these scanners," says Washington County Sheriff's Sgt. Det. Scott Parks.

While the cause of these particular scams is not yet determined, this type of this is happening more frequently.

So if you're in line at the store the criminals could be just in the parking lot, getting your information.

"So what they'll do is go get a money order or some other negotiable instrument that can't be reversed," says Parks.

Authorities say unfortunately there's no way to know if this is happening to you.

"There really isn't a whole lot you can do as far as if someones catching it out of the air. Now if someones just getting your card number you know you just need to be aware of whose in line around you if you're making a purchase," continues Parks

For Mullins who thought she was doing everything right, she says she'll think twice next time before using her card.

"There's no other way to keep your information safe and I'm sure there will always be people who will do their on line banking but I think maybe for just the small purchases around your home maybe you should consider spending cash because even checks can be dangerous," says Mullins.

Mullins' bank, Riverview Credit Union, says their Fraud Department caught the scam quickly.

They also say all money will be reimbursed after the initial investigation.

The scams are still under investigation. Stores this has been happening to has not yet been released.

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