Tampa man’s debit card compromised, fears credit union may be to blame

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Wes James said it all started with a charge for $1.50.

“Last Thursday I received a phone call from the fraud department at the credit union asking me if I had made at a charge at Walmart and another store. And I said no,” James said. Somebody cloned his Florida Central Credit Union

debit card and spent hundreds of dollars.

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James thinks something at Florida Central is amiss because several of his family members who also bank at the credit union, had their cards compromised, including his wife. James added when he reported the crime to Tampa Police, they told him they received had similar reports from several people.

“I haven’t lost my card, it hasn’t been stolen, so I’m wondering how did they get, and how are they able to replicate my card,” he said.

But when 8 On Your Side checked with TPD, they reported responding to the credit union a hand full of times this year, mostly for people passing fake bills and at least once involving the credit card fraud.

The President and CEO of Florida Central Credit Union, said they have no internal breaches.

“We have every bell and whistle to try to catch fraud, to try to catch fraud as soon as it occurs, different types of software that detect different kinds of patterns,” Garcia said.

She said they are still dealing with residual problems from the massive hacks at Target and Home Depot in the past couple of years.

The state’s Office of Financial Regulation said from January 2010 to now, they’ve had five complaints against Florida Central although none were for credit or debit card breaches. The bank’s president said she’s been hit by the crooks before, both her personal American Express and even her corporate card. So what can you do to prevent this kind of thing? Nothing is foolproof, but here are some tips:

  • Use credit if you can
  • Sign instead of keying in your pin
  • Keep a close watch on your statements for fraudulent activity.

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