New debit card scam making rounds in Pinellas, Hillsborough

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(WFLA) – Security camera video caught a woman wrapping up her Walmart shopping trip. Investigators say that woman was using someone else’s debit card.

It’s likely the victim won’t find out what happened until checking his or her balance.

This new debit card scheme also happened to a Polk County woman who didn’t want to be identified. “That wiped out my checking account,” the elderly woman said. “It was $4,100 when I went to the credit union; I almost fainted.”

This woman fell victim to a scam last October. Crooks told the woman to put her chip-enabled debit card under her door mat. They later came and picked it up.

It all started with a phone call. “She just sounded really business like. She was from mid-Florida getting this out to the people to get, you know, they had to pick up all the old debit cards on the count, they’d be out late that night,” the victim said. “I know I just fell for it hook, line and sinker.”

A similar scam is popping up in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

“Once they get access, of course, to the debit card and pin number, it’s off to the races,” Sgt. John Spoor said.

In the scam, a caller insists the bank needs to retrieve the victim’s debit card. “This is the most brazen I’ve seen in several years. I’ve never heard of a suspect actually going to the home. Usually they commit these types of frauds over the phone and by US mail,” Spoor said.

Video shows the Walmart suspect driving away in a silver, four-door car.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Pinellas County Consumer Protection agency are hosting forums to educate residents about common scams. Find information here.

 

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