Pin number theft causes concern

By Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers

Linda Mathews tried to buy a sandwich Wednesday, but instead watched, hungry, as her Visa debit card was taken from her and cut into pieces.

After her pin number was stolen, Access Bank in Clovis ordered that her card be taken, she said.

Access Bank officials said Mathews’ experience isn’t wide-spread.

“I wasn’t aware we had a problem,” said Connie Landry executive Vice President of Access Bank.

Credit card fraud hit Dona Ana County by the thousands last week. Some Clovis residents reported this weekend having problems. Five percent of the customers of Cannon Federal Credit Union were issued new cards after their pin numbers were stolen last weekend, according to bank officials.

Cannon Federal Credit Union President Diane Antill said the impact of last weekend’s pin thefts was minor and “normal in today’s day and age.”

The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office has informed retailers to be on alert. However, District Attorney Matt Chandler said no cases like Mitchell’s are being handled by Chandler’s office right now.

Clovis Police Lt. James Schoeffel said there were 10 reports of credit card fraud and forgeries in February, down from 15 in January.

Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry reported no unusual activity regarding credit cards in the Roosevelt County city.

The Dona Ana County cases are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News. However, the federal bureau is not investigating cases in Clovis, but would provide assistance upon request, according to FBI Public Information Officer Susan Byers.

Customers aren’t liable for unauthorized activity on their cards, said Antill.

But that doesn’t help Mathews sleep better at night.

“It’s spooky that people can find out anything about you. But that’s modern technology. It’s good, but only if it’s in the right hands,” she said.