Posted: Dec 9, 2012 5:17 PM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News
HELENA- Several people from the Montana Television Network affiliate KXLH-TV in Helena had fraudulent charges on their credit cards, and it seems to be a big problem around the state.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton suspects that businesses that store credit and debit information on online databases may be compromised, but there is no way to tell who and where on a local level-if it's a retail store, gas station, hotel, or website. That is up to the banks, credit card companies, and state and federal agencies.
Sheriff Dutton said that he was personally a victim to card fraud on his personal and county credit cards and that other county workers had similar experiences, but he has no idea where and how it happened.
There are many tips on how to protect yourself from being vulnerable to card fraud, like watching your card during every transaction to be sure that it wasn't compromised, never giving your pin out, and to be sure you're shopping online from secure sites with "https" in the URL.
However, you may not be able to prevent card fraud, it is more important now than ever to be hyper vigilant about checking your accounts and immediately reporting fraudulent purchases to your card company.
We tried to get ahold of anyone from Mountain West Bank, Visa, MasterCard - all companies associated with recent fraudulent charges in our office, but no one could talk to us on a weekend.
We also tried getting ahold of the U.S. Secret Service office in Billings, who we're told handle credit card fraud, but they are closed for the weekend as well.