Fort Worth

Thieves Spend $12,000 in Wal-Mart Stores in Two Hours

A local bank is issuing a warning to North Texans after thieves used stolen debit and credit cards at a major retailer this week.

The CEO of Citizens National Bank of Texas, Mark Singleton, told NBC 5 he got a phone call early Sunday from his fraud detection team after they said thieves had bought $12,000 in merchandise in just two hours by using fake cards created with stolen debit card numbers.

Singleton said the thieves used the fake cards at Fort Worth-area Wal-Mart stores and in some cases bought hundreds of dollars in prepaid cards. To be clear, Wal-Mart did not experience a security breach; however thieves used stolen account information in Wal-Mart stores.

After the breach Citizens National Bank of Texas sent out an alert to its 25,000 customers that read:

“Wal-Mart stores are experiencing a high amount of debit card fraud from fraudulent cards created from other retailers' data breaches. To help protect our customers and add an extra layer of security, we are now requiring cards to be run as a debit with a PIN for transactions over $49 in all Texas Wal-Mart stores outside of Ellis County.”

Singleton said he believes retailers bear some responsibility in helping curtail fraud.

“I just wish they would check ID just a little bit," Singleton said. "If they would just be a little more responsible and check who they were doing business with. Ask for a driver's license. What's it take? Two seconds."

Wal-Mart spokesman Betsy Harden insists the company is increasing the number of instances in which cashiers ask to see identification.

Harden confirmed Wal-Mart is aware of the problem.

“Privacy and security of our customers info is something we take very seriously,“ said Harden. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything from our end to prevent these fraudulent transactions from happening.”

Wal-Mart said it has increased training for cashiers.

This incident stands as further evidence of how important it is for consumers to check their accounts frequently.

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