Fraudulent charges hitting debit card users in Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fraudulent charges hitting debit card users in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A lot of people are seeing strange transactions on their bank statements. Three consecutive $30 Walmart debit card charges are showing up for unsuspecting customers. Skimmers stole card numbers. First Tennessee executives are keeping a close watch on it.

Over the past few weeks people have been seeing Walmart fraudulent charges on their bank statements. Better Business Bureau officials said to pay extra close attention when using debit cards in stores.

Keep a close watch at the charges on your bank statement. Thieves are using stolen debit card information at Walmart stores charging small amounts at a time.  

“Do it one right after another type activity with a certain time window. They’ll quit using that card. Hopefully to eliminate it being traced,” said the President of Better Business Bureau Jim Winsett.

Thieves are using stolen card numbers to make purchases of forty dollars or less because they don’t have to enter a pin. “If I was the bad guy, if I have that card and I am aware of that I am going to buy things that are less than that plateau. No signature or anything on my part.”

Winsett said it's called skimming because thieves use a device to skim your debit card information. The device blends in with the existing equipment in stores so consumers never notice it. “Just want to wiggle it. If it is one, it will be just over the face of the outside machine. It will easily come loose or off.”

New cards with chips in them are supposed to help fight fraud, but not all banks have switched over. “It eliminates the possibility of stealing credit card numbers and replicating and repeating.”

Winsett's advice is to keep all receipts, and always monitor your banking activity. “You made transactions, you made purchases and all of a sudden something pops out at you, something you didn't do, you need to take action right away.”

If you see fraudulent charges on your card, contact your bank for a new debit card.

Statement from First Tennessee Bank:

  •         First Tennessee and other banks have seen an increase in suspicious activity in some customers’ accounts related to a data breach at a fast food restaurant chain.  First Tennessee does not identify other organizations that experience data breaches; we are focused on helping our own customers who are impacted. 
  •        This activity is not specific to First Tennessee.  Like many other banks, we are helping our customers following a data compromise at merchants in some of our markets.
  •        At First Tennessee we use advanced tools to monitor customer accounts for unusual activity, and we notify them if we detect questionable activity.
  •        Protecting customer accounts is a partnership between our customers and First Tennessee.  The most important thing a customer can do to protect an account is monitor it online regularly.  If customers see charges they are not familiar with, we ask them to call our card claim center at 877-242-9895.
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