N4T Investigators: Her debit card was cloned

a two-song woman had her entire checking account cleaned out last week by unidentified crooks they obtained her debit card numbers and they went on a shopping spree used for Tucson investigator Matthew Swartz has the story it was very disturbing for me really was it was scary fees somehow got ahold of Denise um dolls debit card numbers last week and went on a shopping spree that emptied her checking account her statement from Hughes Federal Credit Union shows 14 fraudulent transactions made over three days totaling 11 hundred dollars for purchases of more than $200 each were made at Fry’s stores in Phoenix and Glendale 75 dollars at a ross store 56 dollars at Applebee’s both in Tempe all the charges were made in and around Phoenix while Denise was in Tucson this is big for me it’s big I don’t make a lot of money but you know for me this is big because there were a lot of big charges on there Denise says she received an automated call from Hughes federal on October 10 the day after the for $200 plus charges and fries she claims a fraud investigator told her quote this has happened to a group of people she also says a teller told her it could take up to 10 days for the money to be returned to her account however hours after we contacted Hughes the charges were dropped a spokesperson declined comment citing member confidentiality Denise has no idea how her debit card numbers were obtained she recently was mailed a new card with the same numbers as the old one but as we’ve reported thieves clone debit and credit cards by using illegal devices called skimmers that they attach to payment terminals they then use machines to copy the card numbers onto a realistic-looking card we have groups that can come in from out of state come in put a skimmer on and leave as we reported last month nearly a dozen members of pyramid Federal Credit Union had their debit cards cloned thieves went to to Home Depot stores in Tucson and bought $3,100 worth of these a gift cards limits that we’re allowing just continuously to lower over time and so they it used to be they could get a lot more before we catch it now we’re a lot more cautious about watching for that credit cards are safer to use than debit cards because under the Fair billing credit act your liability for fraudulent charges on a credit card tops out at $50 but if someone uses your debit card you could be liable for $500 or more depending on how quickly you report it to avoid skimmers at gas stations where they’re most commonly used the Federal Trade Commission says make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering take a good look at the card reader itself to see if it looks different than other readers at the station and if you use a debit card at the pump run it as a credit card instead of entering your PIN that way the pin is safe and the money isn’t deducted immediately from your account Denise says she does that that’s been very stressful you know I had to take off work today so that’s that’s a day of you know lost at work whenever you use your debit card make sure no one can see you and during your PIN and cards with chip readers are generally considered safer than those you have to swipe also check your account balance every day if you see any suspicious charges report them immediately if you have a story you’d like us to investigate email us at investigators at kbo a.com or call nine five five four four four four investigating for you Matthew Schwartz news for Tucson

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