The preliminary information released from the Sioux City Police in this ongoing fraud and theft investigation has found that so far approximately 20 local victims, they believe the credit card thefts are related to data breaches at KMart and Sonic.
The Sonic data breach occurred between April 2017 and October 2017, the KMart breach between September 2016 and April 2017. Police believe the card numbers obtained during the breaches are being used on cloned cards by the thieves who likely traveled to this area and made small purchases likely of prepaid debit cards after making transactions online to be sure the cards were working. These steps make it less likely for victims to notice the thefts or for their banks to flag the transactions as fraud.
Police continue to investigate this reports and are attempting to obtain video from locations where the cloned cards are being used. They remind everyone to check their statements regularly and report any suspicious transactions to your bank and law enforcement.
I started receiving reports earlier today that people have had their debit and credit cards used fraudulently at local businesses over the weekend. At least one of the reports indicated they are and have been in possession of their debit card which had numerous charges.
I spoke with Sioux City Police and they confirmed they have begun receiving a number of reports of similar instances. Sioux City Police are asking everyone to check your bank and credit card statements and report any unknown and unauthorized purchases to your bank and the police department.
One possible way for thieves to physically use your credit or debit card without having possession of it is by skimming your card number and then writing your card information to dummy cards. Card skimmers are often found on gas pumps but card skimmers are small and fast and can be not only on devices where you swipe your card but also in the hands of people you hand your card to make payments at drive-throughs and restaurants.
If you find that you have unauthorized purchases and have reported them to your bank and law enforcement, review recent local purchases up to the time when the bogus charges started to appear, it likely that one of those purchases is when your card was compromised.