Some customers at Mid-South bank missing hundreds of dollars

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Several customers of a Mid-South bank are missing hundreds of dollars from their accounts after crooks in California stole their ATM numbers.

John Cornelius found out the hard way that thieves in Los Angeles were cashing in on his hard-earned money.

"I tried to put a deposit down on a cabin we were renting," Cornelius said.

Cornelius' Bank of Bartlett card was decline.

"Told them there's no way, I've got money in the bank," Cornelius said.  "They printed out a list of transactions, took it back home and immediately noticed two transactions for $503 each."

Cornelius is not the only Bank of Bartlett customer thieves have targeted.

"It's a very, very limited number of customers," said Bank of Bartlett CFO and CIO Dale W. Stover.  "Somehow the thieves managed to decode the strip on a customer's card.  They then reprinted that strip on a new card."

Stover said the thieves may have had people working for them at a Memphis restaurant or store.

"If the thief has a way to read the mag stripe and the encryption on that code, then they've got access to the pin numbers.  They can go to an ATM and make a withdrawal," Stover said.  "A lot of times a thief will swipe your card, and that swiping of the card reads that mag stripe and records that information."

The Bank of Bartlett will refund Cornelius' lost money, but the wait has been painful.

"It's made us really late on everything," Cornelius said.  "Had to call my mortgage company and say, 'hey, look, you need to give us three or four more days until I get paid again.'"

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