LPD?alerts residents to fraudulent activity

LEWISTOWN – The Lewistown Police Department and other law enforcement in Mifflin County are investigating the reports of fraudulent ATM card use from numerous county residents.

According to police documents, an investigation revealed that residents’ bank-issued ATM cards were fraudulently used across the country to withdraw cash from states including California and Tennessee.

Law enforcement in Mifflin County is working with the bank that issued the ATM cards to identify how the crimes occurred and do not believe the frauds started in Mifflin County, but are part of a larger organized ring, police said.

Lewistown Police Chief Bill Herkert said there have been similar frauds across the country and there is no evidence that they are locally based. He said the department has been working with a number of banks in the area to address instances of fraud.

Herkert added the department receives a number of fraud reports every day and there are many opportunities for fraud to take place, from when the card is mailed to each time it’s used.

The Federal Trade Commission is the lead federal agency that follows up on organized fraud cases.

Police said, the illegal use of ATM and credit cards is a national problem that frequently involves organized and sometimes international criminals. In 2012, Lewistown Police, in combination with Beverly Hills Police, investigated and identified a group of criminals with international ties that had compromised multiple persons’ accounts.

According to the report, if you have suspicious activity or charges on your ATM or credit cards, you should do the following:

Immediately call the issuer, the bank or credit card company to report the suspected fraud-the phone number is usually on the back of the card.

If your account has been compromised, cancel the card.

Notify the FTC and fill out a fraud report.

File a police report with your local or state police.