Crime Tracker: Financial Fraud Prompts Secret Service Warning - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crime Tracker: Financial Fraud Prompts Secret Service Warning

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KHQ.COM - The Secret Service is investigating the largest fraud case it has seen in the region in years.  Victims are claiming their bank accounts are being drained after using their debit and credit cards. 

Spokane grocery wholesaler URM, which includes Rosauers, Yoke's Fresh Markets, and Super 1 Foods, is launching a review of the system because credit unions think it's tied to the source of a security breach.            

Secret Service Agent Kevin Miller wouldn't comment specifically on how the thieves are stealing from these accounts. He did provide insight, though, into how it's done. Sometimes criminals use skimmers or card readers that attach to a machine like an ATM. The skimmer records your banking numbers when you slide your card through it. 

Spokane County had a case like this just this year. Criminals also use malware, or malicious software, to conduct a data breach where they hack into a network and steal private information.  Even though, Agent Miller wouldn't' say exactly what is behind the thefts happening locally, he did offer insight into how to protect your money. 

First, monitor your bank account as much as possible. Waiting 30 days for your statement to arrive gives thieves a large window of time to rack-up the charges and drain your account.  Also, take advantage of free credit reports. 

This way you're going to be able see what accounts have been opened up in your name.  Finally, if you suspect fraud notify your bank immediately. The Secret Service says these are some of the best steps in keeping your money where it belongs and out of the hands of thieves.

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