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I-Team Exclusive: Investigation Underway Into Widespread Credit & Debit Card Fraud
By Andy Mehalshick
A widespread identity theft investigation is unfolding in Southern Luzerne County and Northern Schuylkill Counties--- At least 30 people have contacted State and local police departments reporting credit and debit card thefts- Heidi who lives in Freeland told the I-Team, "I saw three purchases made in Baltimore Maryland charged to my bank debit card--I was not in Baltimore so I called the bank and I was told I was like the 40th person who called to report thefts like mine--" State Police Corporal Ryan Stefanick is heading up the investigation and said, "We think that this is a network intrusion that somehow personal information is being sent to an off-site location---" Stefanick added, "In most cases financial institutions are contacting customers when they see purchases that are unusual or out of state--" State Police are working with the United States Secret Service which investigates thefts involving financial institutions- State Police from other east coast states including New York and Georgia are working with Pennsyvlania Troopers on this case--- Corporal Stefanick added, "This may also be part of an international operation--we are checking it out-- Stefanick urged victims to come forward-- Eyewitness News reached out to several banks in the Hazleton area that were mentioned by victims--Bank officials who returned our e-mails or phone calls say they are aware of the thefts but would not comment on the investigation-They did urge their customers to contact them immediately if they have any problems with their accounts---