TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- A group of fraudsters have stolen thousands of dollars from unsuspecting Tri-Cities shoppers. Police say they’re looking for them.
Police said a group of people have stolen credit card information from more than 50 people across the Tri-Cities--likely by using a card skimmer.
“They're very sophisticated groups that are going out of their way to victimize people,” Richland police Sgt. Drew Florence said.
Police said they've been using the stolen information to make ATM withdrawals.
“And they can make thousands of dollars in a short amount of time,” Florence said.
Police said just in Kennewick victims have lost more than 30-thousand dollars so far.
“It's depressing that people could be taking money out of your bank when you don't even know,” shopper Jose Barajas said.
And police said they believe the skimmers were placed inside gas stations, but they don't know for sure.
“It could be anywhere,” Florence said.
Police said when you're filling up your car with gas, take a good look at the card reader. Make sure it has a seal on it so you know it hasn't been tampered with.
And that goes for card readers anywhere--not just at the gas pump.
“If you notice that it's loose or it doesn't look right, people should feel like they can question the clerks about it and say hey, this doesn't look right,” Florence said.
Police said check your account activity often so you can report fraud right away. And if you recognize the suspects, call the police.
Police recommend running your transaction as credit so fraudsters don't get access to your pin number on your debit card.