Identity Theft on the Rise in Houston County

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

It's a trend Sheriff Hughes says he didn't want to see back, people having their identities stolen, after eating at restaurants in the area.

Customers may want to think twice before using their debit cards when they go out to eat.

“We had several reports in the last couple of weeks where people debit cards have been stolen when they used debit cards at local establishments.”

And reports continue to come in.

“We had one individual that reported last week that their debit card, they had given it at a local Mexican restaurant and a day or so later they received debit card charges in St. Louis Missouri.”

Hughes says this was a problem in Houston County restaurants about four years ago.
Now it’s back, and Hughes is trying to give residents tips to keep their money and identification, safe.

“Be careful when you give your debit card to someone. It’s always better to swipe the card and punch in the code yourself then giving your debit card to someone and having them take it and then bring it back to you.”

If you don't like that idea, Hughes recommends going old school.

“The best policy is to use cash.”

Or pay with a credit card where charges can be contested if you didn't make them.

Hughes says it's better to be overly safe when it comes to your money.
He says once someone gets your information, it's hard for officers to track them down.


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