Many, including myself, have been affected by the credit card theft ring that has been plaguing Pullman this semester. As someone who does not carry cash, I was especially vulnerable. It was due to this vulnerability that I was unfortunate enough to have my debit card “compromised” not once, but twice in one month. I was not told how they discovered my card was compromised. I did, however, receive that phone call that many of you received telling me that my card was compromised and another one was being sent to me. This was a pain and a major inconvenience.
Initially, I heard a rumor that the credit cards were being stolen off of the Dissmore’s IGA credit card server, and I was not surprised. A friend of mine told me that the stores around Dissmore’s IGA use the same credit and debit card server, so it made sense that my card had been compromised as I go to McDonald’s all the time.
The credit card theft is not big news anymore. This has been going on for months now, and we have all heard our limit of news about it. The news now is in the form of a question: Why would the Pullman Police Department deceive us? They told us they had looked into the credit card fraud case and determined that Dissmore’s IGA was not the center of the fraud. However, recently it was revealed to the public that the owners of Dissmore’s IGA were approached by the Secret Service and the Pullman Police Department as being linked to the fraud cases.
This would have greatly affected the sales of Dissmore’s IGA and the stores around it, but that is not the problem of the consumer. We are not just consumers but Americans – and being an American entitles us the right to know about something that could negatively affect our lives.
Pullman is a small town, making it less likely that news of Dissmore’s IGA being the center of the credit card theft would drastically affect the sales of Dissmore’s IGA. Shoppers are going to continue using one of the only local grocery options available. Companies have bounced back from struggles much larger than this.
My card has been stolen twice. The only effect it had on me was an inconvenience. I was never actually at a loss in funds, nor was I ever without a credit card. My bank sent me a new one that took two weeks to get here. I could have, however, started to use cash had I known that using my debit card in that area again would result in my card being compromised again. I did not have this option because the Pullman Police Department chose to keep this information to themselves.
In the United States we live our lives based on the old saying, “innocent until proven guilty.” This case is not so clear cut. Dissmore’s IGA may have made the mistake of not having strong enough security to protect their loyal customers – and furthermore, if true, they failed to take the initiative to inform their customers when their server had been compromised.
This is where the police should have stepped in. They knew that Dissmore’s IGA was a commonality between many of the fraud cases. This knowledge should have been shared by the Pullman Police Department because we as citizens of Pullman have a right to know such vital information as this.
I am unaware of any extenuating circumstances behind their decision to keep this knowledge away from us, but whatever those reasons are, they had better be good ones.