Card number thefts continue to stymie investigators in DeSoto County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Card number thefts continue to stymie investigators in DeSoto County

For years safety experts said using credit and debit cards helped discourage robbers out to steal cash. But a growing number of card number thefts are forcing investigators in DeSoto County to urge residents to go back to using older methods of payment.

The suggestion comes on the heels of a crime wave that involves thieves stealing debit card numbers.

Commander Mark Blackson of the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department said deputies in Hernando have been tracking a string of debit card number thefts since early November, and the number of victims is sky-rocketing.

"We're up over 120 cases now," he said.

Blackson said the majority of people who have reported their debit card numbers stolen live in the Hernando area.  At first, investigators thought the thieves were getting numbers when victims swiped their cards as they made purchases.

Now, Blackson said, he's not so sure.

"Because of the vast amount we have, and by looking at all the records of the victims that we have at this time, I do not believe that they are swiping to obtain the numbers," he said. "I believe that they got them another way."

Because no one is sure how thieves are obtaining the numbers, Blackson said, the best defense is to not use credit or debit cards at all, eliminating them from exposure.

Blackson said the stolen debit card numbers are being used in states including Texas and Florida.  Deputies are now working with investigators with those states to try and solve this case.
  
If you think you have been a victim, contact the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department.


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