With fewer people paying in cash and more with cards, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to check their wallets and bank accounts to help catch credit card thieves.
“In today's age, it is common practice to pay with a debit or credit card,” said Carroll County Chief Deputy Brad Robinson. “Not many people still carry cash around or even checks. I would ask that people do not get upset when the clerk asks them to see identification because they could be preventing someone paying with another person's card.”
Robinson said thieves are able to use stolen cards at multiple locations because many merchants will not check identification. Victims of card thefts will not know their card has been used until they look at their bank account balance or receive a call from their bank.
“Sadly though, a lot of these cases come from within the family,” said Robinson. “Before the family members know that another family member slipped their card out, they will have made several purchases.”
A Bowdon was charged with financial transaction card fraud after she had made several purchases totaling up to $1,000. Robinson said the woman stole the card from a relative.
Robinson cited a previous case that occurred this past weekend.
“A son took his father's debit card and used it throughout the night,” Robinson said. The next day the father saw $800 missing from his account.
“With cases like this, not this case with the female, a family member will become addicted to drugs, they will take resources and money from their family,” said Robinson. “If it continues they choose to go burglaries and steal to support that addiction. Families members need to look out for one another.”
Robinson said that all cardholders should take advantage of setting up safety measure with their cards. He said that with today’s technology, cardholders can keep a lookout by checking their bank account daily.
“Check your wallets too,” he said. “If you notice your card is missing, call your bank and have them prevent any purchases from being made.”
Many thieves will not just physically steal credit cards now but will use the phone to try and scam people, often the elderly.
Carrollton police recently had to inform the community that calls were being made by scammers claiming to be the city police department, and asking for money.
“Don’t ever give out your credit card information over the phone,” Robinson said. “Keep a lookout for unusual spending activity on your account and talk to your bank about ways they can prevent thieves from using your card.”