3 On Your Side: Lafayette shoppers puzzled by holiday hacking
By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
LAFAYETTE, WALKER COUNTY (WRCB)-- Several people have contacted Channel 3, upset their bank accounts have been hacked!
The majority of the customers seem to live in the area of Lafayette, Georgia.
Several viewers contacted us through our Facebook page, and some their accounts were completely drained.
For many, this means no money right before the Christmas shopping season starts.
"My first thought was, ‘Lord, nobody's going to go buy anything on Friday because nobody's going to have debit cards', because you know the lines are going to be long enough as it is," Jennifer Sears says. "Now they're going to have to write checks for everything; it's going to be awful!"
Jennifer Sears got a call Wednesday about someone trying to hack her account.
Reports online cite several banking customers in the Lafayette area are finding their accounts have been drained by as much as $1,500.
"My bank is Gateway and they called me about 6:30 yesterday evening and told me not to try to use my debit card, that they had canceled it and are in the process of sending me a new one," says Sears.
The Lafayette Police Department says they are investigating these claims, stating they've received dozens of calls about account hacking.
While police say it's not tied to any particular store, many banking customers believe it may all be tied back to the Wal-Mart in Lafayette.
"The rumor is and where it is, it's all coming from right here, the Lafayette Wal-Mart," says Chris Hughes.
Chris Hughes says he banks with the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union in Fort Oglethorpe, and shops at the Lafayette Wal-Mart all the time.
His wife told him Wednesday their account had been hacked.
"Just yesterday my check got direct deposited into our account, in the morning, because we had a short week," Hughes says. "And by noon she's calling me saying that somebody had gotten all the money out of the account."
Now, the couple is out $500 and wants answers.
"We called the bank, they gave us a case number, we filed a police report in Walker County, they said at the time there was over 40 reports alone for the Lafayette surrounding area," says Hughes.
The bank told Hughes he'll have his money replaced by Friday.
Again, Channel 3 talked with Lafayette police, who say this isn't tied to a particular bank or store.
The department says detectives are looking into these reports.
If you suspect any fraudulent activity on your account, call your bank immediately.