YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Credit card fraud happens all the time in cities across the U.S. and around the world but on Friday, it happened to 33 WYTV News.
Reporter Cameron O’Brien got a call from the bank, asking about five charges to her company credit card that she had never made.
The bank said four out of five of the charges were made to canteen accounts for inmates in county jails all across the country through the site TouchPay. The charges were made on Thursday and were all over $100 in value.
Although the bank cancelled those charges, Cameron still had to file an incident report with Boardman Police.
Officer William Woods gets reports like this frequently, as often as every week.
Filing a report officially records the crime. It asks for information about the victim, a list of what was stolen and a narrative from the person filing the report, explaining what happened.
Detective Ben Switka is working on Cameron’s case, and will try to find out how TouchPay got her information.
“What I’ll have to do is I’ll send them a subpoena requesting the information as to whose account was credited dollar amounts in the facility, or what facility it’s at,” he said.
Even though TouchPay’s processing center is in Texas, Switka says the inmate could be in a correctional facility somewhere out of state.
Even the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office has been hit with credit card fraud in the past.
“You know, we’re not exempt from it either. It’s happened at the sheriff’s office when there’s been fraud used, so you just have to be careful and pay attention,” Sheriff Jerry Greene said.
He says that in this age of digital theft, it’s important to be vigilant.
“Obviously, pay attention to your credit card bills, pay attention to what’s going on with your credit. Try not to use passwords that are obvious or have passwords where people can get ahold of them.”
There are ways to protect against credit card theft.
Greene says RFID protective sleeves encase credit cards, shielding them from scanners that can steal information. Those scanners can make a perfect electronic copy of a credit card while it’s still in a person’s wallet, purse or pocket.