Local investigators are working with management at a local credit union to solve an on-going credit fraud problem. All of the victims are members of Tyndall Federal Credit Union.
Dozens of people have reported irregularities in their bank statements. Friday investigators and bank officials came to the conclusion the problem stems from a few local shady merchants. Representatives from Tyndall Federal credit Union believe the culprit could be local merchants skimming the card information and selling the information.
"In no way Tyndall has had any data breach or been compromised,” said Greg Wheeler of Tyndall Federal Credit Union. “We really think that it is some merchant in the area that has seen this fraudulent activity."
"There's about 75 different people that came in and filed reports with us in reference to charges that were conducted with their card, debit card numbers, which they did not conduct," said Bay County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Craig Romans
"I had charges from Northport, Florida and I've never even been there,” said fraud victim, Jennifer McCorvey. “I don't even know where it is. I had to Google it today to find out where it was."
Investigators believe the problem originated in bay county.
"The victims are all from our area most of the transactions are being conducted with what we believe is a counterfeit card using the victims debit card information and those transactions are being conducted down in South Florida around the Tampa area and also we have some cases up in the Jacksonville area."
Most of the stolen information is being used at major retail stores, but some are showing up at gas stations. The victims' primary concern is when will they get back their money.
"I had to go to the bank today and fill out fraud paper work, now I have to come here to the police station and fill out a police report and then I have to get it to them before they even start to get my money back and then she said it could take up to 48 hours to get my money back."
Federal regulations give banks 10 days to restore money to the accounts. Tyndall Federal Credit Union says they are working to get money back into victims accounts within 48 hours. Tyndall Federal officials say they're checking customers' accounts, looking for any suspicious activity. They've also issued new debit cards to compromised accounts.