DeSoto authorities say it's still important to protect your identity - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

DeSoto authorities say it's still important to protect your identity

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - This time last year, the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department faced close to 300 cases of debit card theft. Federal investigators soon discovered a global debit card theft ring amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen money.

How are DeSoto County shoppers faring one year later?

So far, this year is faring better than last as far as debit card theft is concerned, but law enforcement officials said you should not let your guard down.

Last year, law enforcement officials in DeSoto County were very busy dealing with what turned out to be a 'global' debit card theft ring. There were 300 cases in the county alone, mostly in Hernando.

"We've had maybe a few cases where your gonna have that when you have credit cards, your going to have very few cases. But nothing like the magnitude that we had last year," DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said. 

Chief Darryl Whaley of the Horn Lake Police Department said members of his staff have been victims of debit card theft as well. 

"Several of them as a matter of fact. When that was going on last year, I had two people then and I've had at least one officer this year," Horn Lake police chief Darryl Whaley said.

Sheriff Rasco said the FBI took over the case and made some arrests in Texas but none in DeSoto county. He said that people need to be particularly careful and keep a watchful eye this time a year.

"The only way I tell people to help themselves is to not let that card get out of their site. Once they present it to the person they don't let them take it off and swipe thru something else and run those numbers so they will have those numbers and can use their numbers," Rasco said.

Sheriff Rasco said if you are a victim of debit or credit card theft, immediately contact the credit card companies. You should also keep a very close watch on your bank account since most of your information is available online.

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