New reports of DeSoto debit card fraud - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

New reports of DeSoto debit card fraud

A new wave of fraudulent debit card purchases is making some shoppers and business owners a little nervous in Hernando, Mississippi.
In late 2007 and earlier this year, DeSoto County investigators reported nearly 300 cases where thieves wiped out bank accounts from Hernando to Russia using debit card machines.

New reports of an international debit card theft ring out of Hernando, Mississippi, have some retailers worried people are getting the wrong idea.

Jessica Russell of Janie Rose Boutique hopes the new debit card fears won't keep people from shopping in Hernando.

"It hasn't happened for a while, but it's funny...I had two people come in back-to-back and ask me about it," said Russell. "It's just certain businesses out here. It's not all of them, and I'm just hoping people aren't scared to come out here and shop."

Many businesses say they're being extra cautious and urging customers to ask questions.

"Ask questions...'Am I going to get affected if I use my card here?'" said Russell. "Don't be afraid to ask, because it's not a lot of the businesses out here."
Investigators believe the thieves have already nabbed the debit card numbers, and they're cautiously waiting to use them.

"It's scary that they can get that information just from a store," said one Mississippi shopper. "I bought something at every single one of these stores using my debit card."

Investigators say the international connections make this a hard case to crack.

Law enforcement officials recommend you track where you shop, ask questions, notify police if you've been scammed and immediately report errors to your bank.

Action News 5 tried to reach the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office for comment on the new reports, but no one was available during the weekend.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI are also investigating.

The Better Business Bureau recommends reporting debit card fraud to the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline at (877) ID THEFT.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony. 

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