Dozens of Tallassee residents hit with fraudulent charges – …


Dozens of Tallassee residents are victims of identity theft, and the number of victims and banking institutions involved is growing by the day.

Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rogers says the breach is confined to the Tallassee city limits.

“Initially, the reports were central to one banking institution. Since then, we have information that connects it to five different banks in town, and that makes it a little more difficult,” Rogers said. “That means there’s another way, other than the banking institution, that the information is being obtained.”

More than 25 reports of identity theft and fraud have been filed with the Tallassee Police Department since Wednesday. As for where the data was compromised, “it’s more than likely where they are using the cards, and we are just trying to narrow that down. That’s one of the aspects that’s time consuming in the investigation,” Rogers said.

At this point, the only common thread is where the victims shopped. All patronized the Tallassee Walmart, grocery stores or convenience stations before an out-of-state charge for hundreds of dollars surfaced on their account. Rogers says there’s no real method to how the thieves are using the banking information,

”We’ve had some reports where they’ve tried to use them in Canada and in the Dominican Republic. Also in Texas, Ohio or up north,” Rogers said.

Rogers suspects this isn’t the first time the suspects have wreaked financial havoc.

“One of the local banking institutions say they are accessing this information and making counterfeit cards and using them across the United States,” Rogers said.

Rogers realizes this crime hits victims where it hurts most and makes victim’s personal information more vulnerable to attack,

“Oh it’s very frustrating for us to investigate something of this nature. It’s not a normal crime, it’s a lot more time involved in this,” Rogers said.

If you are a victim, Tallassee police needs to hear from you. They’re asking anyone who’s had a fraudulent charge to report it to police headquarters immediately. Police ask everyone to bring their checking or credit card information and a statement showing where the charge was made.

WSFA 12 News contacted Walmart’s corporate headquarters. Officials said data had not been compromised at this location. Other retailers have not responded to our inquiries.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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