Debit card scams on the rise

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 8:27am

Eddie McMurray knows what it's like to be the victim of identity  theft. The Springhill native was living in Atlanta 15 years ago when someone broke into his car, stole his social security card and credit cards...and then ran up a hefty bill. He says he's never been able to set his credit score back in order. "No one believes you," he said. "No one believes that you're telling the truth, when you say, well, it wasn't me. I didn't do this. My credit was really good, now my credit's terrible."

Stories like McMurray's are even more common in the Internet era, where hackers can scam unsuspecting debit card users out of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Springhill police chief Will Lynd says online identity theft is a growing problem around the country. He's seen that in his own town, where around 30 people have reported money missing from their accounts since the beginning of the year.

Lynd says banks are reimbursing customers for the money they lost and he's been able to track down the origin of most of the scams. However, jurisdiction remains a problem, since most of the cases have roots in New York City, France and the U.K.

To edcuate the community about the dangers of online debit use, Lynd's office is teaming up with Carter Federal Credit Union to hold an educational seminar. The class will be held at the bank on Thursday from 5:30-7:00. The event is free and open to the public.

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