Recent reports of debit and credit card fraud indicate local accounts may still be at risk for future fraudulent activity. Also, the compromised information did not happen in a one-time security breach as previously thought by authorities.
Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said they have received daily reports of fraud since mid-September.
Thursday morning, three individuals who previously experienced fraud and cancelled their cards, reported that they once again had fraudulent charges on their new cards, Tennant said. This indicates that a security risk still exists for Pullman residents who use debit or credit cards in the area.
At this point, Tennant said the safest way to avoid fraud is to pay in cash.
He said Pullman police are continuing to work with the U.S. Secret Service on the investigation, and they do not yet know the source of the compromised security.
Since Sept. 20, Pullman police have received more than 440 reported cases of fraud on local accounts, Tennant said. That number is likely to be only a fraction of affected individuals because most people report fraud to their bank, not the police.
The fraudulent charges on Pullman accounts have occurred on reproduced cards in locations across the nation and in a few international
Tennant said there has been a concentration of the stolen account numbers used in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. Pullman police have been working with other jurisdictions in a number of these locations to track down the users of some of the stolen Pullman account numbers.
Wednesday night in Hurst, Texas, there were multiple arrests of individuals who used stolen card numbers, Tennant said. It is still unconfirmed whether any of the account numbers belonged to Pullman residents.
They are also investigating a few local leads, and they may be nearing an arrest, Tennant said, but he doesn’t know when.
“We live in a fast food society where CSI solves the crime before the commercial break,” Tennant said. “It doesnt work like that in real life. It may be a while before it’s solved.”
He also said, despite the rumors, Dissmores IGA is not the point of compromise.
“We have enough victims who have never used their debit or credit cards at Dissmores,” Tennant said.
While the police department is still receiving daily reports of fraud, the number of cases each day has dropped from about 30 new cases a day to fewer than 10.
The police department requests any victims of fraud to file a police report. Fraud can be reported at the police station or on the Pullman Police Department’s website.