Swansboro Police investigate series of credit card fraud reports

POSTED: 6:23 PM Dec 16 2013
SWANSBORO, ONSLOW COUNTY -

The Swansboro Police Department is working with the FBI and Secret Service to solve who's behind a series of credit card fraud reports.

Linda Terry is one of nearly 100 suspected victims.

"We live in a plastic world, you know," Terry said. "We just use it all the time."

Terry said she found out her card was compromised during a call from a card security company.

"I asked [the caller] again who she was twice," Terry said. "She told me, and asked me had I shopped at Atlanta, Ga., and I said, 'No.' "

Swansboro Police have had about 50 reports of card fraud over the past two months. There are even more victims who haven't reported it. They say it's mostly small amounts of money that have been stolen, but the most police have seen is $400 at a time.

Public Safety Director Bob Ritchie said gas stations are a common place where card numbers can be snatched, by using skimming equipment.

"There are pieces of equipment out there that would allow people to extract information from your card from a distance with scanners, and those types of technology," Ritchie said. "There are scanners that could download information from gas stations at the pumps."

Ritchie says you can even be at risk using free WIFI at your favorite coffee shop.

Because it's the holiday season, there's going to be a lot of shopping. Ritchie recommends if you're going to make a transaction, use a credit card because it's more secure, instead of a debit card. Cash is always a safe option. Just be careful how much you're carrying on you, and be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM.

Bank officials and police encourage any victim of credit card fraud to file a police report.

"We have extra patrols out," Ritchie said. "We're looking for folks outside of businesses or gas pumps with skimming equipment."