Up to a hundred local consumers victimized in debit card scam

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Secret Service is involved in a debit card scam in Hanceville.

Police say someone hacked into a computer at a Hanceville restaurant to steal card numbers.

Hanceville Police say scores of people were victims of that debit card scam.

Thousands of dollars were stolen from their bank accounts.

It's a crime that's happening more often.

That's because it's becoming easier for the criminal element access debit card account, including the password.

Thieves can steal it right from the terminal where you swipe your card.

What's more alarming is some of these cases are inside jobs, conducted by the very employees employers trust.

Experts say a clerk of a business can steal your debit card information by using a device. It's called a 'skimmer.'

The suspect swipes your card through the device. The device then collects and retains account numbers and PINs.

"Once they collect enough, what that threshold is, I don't know. In many instances we've seen people who are skimming who collect several hundred identities, passwords, and account numbers," said Randy Hillman, with the Alabama District Attorney's Association. Adding,  "And then sell them on the black market or to people who then go out use them to purchase things."

Randy Hillman says investigating these crimes is difficult because there aren't a whole lot of police departments that have the equipment to work digital evidence cases.

The best advice to folks who use debit cards is to be very cautious and keep an eye on your card when you hand it over to someone in a restaurant or business.