Bellefontaine Examiner

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Influx of credit card fraud investigated in West Mansfield

Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office have been investigating for the past several weeks an influx of credit card fraud centered in the West Mansfield area that appears to be the work of an Internet hacker.

Dodds Randy LCSO

CHIEF DEPUTY DODDS

Since June 10, deputies have received approximately eight different reports from residents living mostly in the West Mansfield area that their debit and credit card numbers had been used for purchases that they did not authorize in locations such as Florida, New Jersey and even as far away as Great Britain.

The fraudulent transactions range between $100 to $200 for each of the victims.

“We get these kinds of reports all of the time,” Chief Deputy Randy Dodds said this week. “However, we don’t usually see this kind of volume that we’ve been seeing lately and with this specific concentration in the West Mansfield area.

During the investigation, deputies have found a commonality shared by the victims appears to be that they each purchased items with their credit or debit card at several different businesses in the village of West Mansfield.

Businesses owners have worked with deputies to investigate the cases, and deputies have not found any evidence that a local employee or individual was involved in skimming credit card numbers.

“It doesn’t look like it’s anyone local doing it. It’s not the local employees,” Col. Dodds said.

“Somebody out on the Internet has hacked into one of their systems, unbeknownst to the retailer. As it was explained to me, these Internet hackers living at any location all over the world will find a site with an open portal and attach a key logger so they can grab credit card information.

“Then they retrieve the card information and sell it.”

Each of the victims said they had not lost their credit card or hadn’t shared their account information with anyone, Col. Dodds said. Instead, most of the individuals had been contacted by their credit card fraud agency about the unusual purchases.

Considering these findings, the chief deputy advised area residents to keep close track of their bank accounts and to keep an eye on their purchases if using a credit or debit card. Any fraudulent activity should be reported to their bank or credit card company immediately.

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