Hundreds of debit card numbers stolen from Washington business



PITTSBURGH - Target 11 has learned that hundreds of credit and debit cards have been compromised after a security breach at a Washington, Pa., business.

Investigator Robin Taylor found out the numbers are being used nationwide, and said fraudulent charges have been made in Florida, Virginia, and Michigan. The stolen debit card numbers all trace back to a local beer distributor. Somehow the store's system was breached and thieves obtained hundreds of card numbers.

Doug Graham of Washington got a call from the fraud department at Citizens Bank after they noticed suspicious activity on his account.

"They said were you in Florida a couple days ago?"

"No I wasn't in Florida," Graham said. "I assume they knew that because I'd used my card here. They said there was about $100 worth of gasoline bought at a gas station down there."

It didn't stop there. More fraudulent charges were made in Virginia, so the bank shut down his card and is sending him a new one.

But Graham isn't the only one in Washington this has happened to.

"What was the common thread?" I asked.

"Six Pack Charlie's. I figured that out right away," answered Graham.

His friends had also swiped their debit cards at Six Pack Charlie's, a local beer distributor.

"One guy said, 'I barely ever use my mine and I used it there,' so that's when it was key, that's when I knew that was the transaction that they got the card number from," said Graham.

Washington Financial launched an investigation after 200 of their cards were compromised. Their chief risk officer told me that it appears as if the thieves broke into Six Pack Charlie's web-based credit card system.

We went to the business and called, but the owner had no comment and told us to leave.

The bank has posted an alert on its website and is requiring customs to use their personal identification number for purchases in Florida.

"I'm going to watch it before I start swiping that card," said Graham.

If you used a credit or debit card at Six Pack Charlie's, check with your bank to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.

Investigators told me the crime ring that stole these numbers is probably overseas. Federal authorities are being notified.