Buchanan- A telephone call to order a pizza lead Haralson County Sheriff Eddie Mixon’s Office to arrest a local couple and charge them with financial transaction fraud. Eric Blake Stoner of 1534 Old Draketown Road, Temple and his wife Tonya Renee Jordan of the same address are both now facing a host charges related to the theft of a bank card belonging to a family friend. According to Sheriff Eddie Mixon, the investigation began when the victim filed an incident report after discovering several suspicious charges had been made on her bankcard. “This couple began a spending spree as soon as they had their hands on the bank card numbers. Before all the damage was done the pair had racked up hundreds of dollars in goods and services at merchants. They obtained good and services from merchants ranging from gas stations, fast food restaurants and event Walmart.com but like most thieves they made mistakes”. Mixon said.
According to reports, when investigators began the process of running down the specific charges visited a Bremen pizza were Eric Stoner had ordered a pizza using the stolen credit card. However, he actually placed the order in his own name. Tonya Jordan made the same mistake after doing some cyber shopping at Walmart.com. “She did her shopping, proceeded to the check out page and requested the merchandise be shipped to her home address. “My investigators believe that Eric Blake Stoner obtained the bankcard information by pretending to spill the contents of the victim’s purse only to take a picture of the card. According to Mixon, “This victim fought back took the most important step in protecting herself, she checked her band records closely and when she saw suspicious activity she reported filed a report”.
Sheriff Eddie Mixon and BankRate.com offers the following tips to help you from becoming a victim of this fraud and identify theft:
- Update your contact information with your financial institution. Your bank can't ask you about a suspicious charge unless it has your current phone number.
- Copy the customer service phone number from the back of each of your debit or credit cards and keep this list in a separate location from your purse or wallet in case a thief steals the latter.
- Let issuers know your travel dates and destination. If your card gets swiped at an unusual location, the card issuer may decline the suspicious transaction.
- Sign up for banking alerts if offered by your financial institution. These will inform you when particular changes occur, such as irregular card activity.
- Stay away from ATMs that appear dirty or in disrepair. At best, such ATMs may not work when used, and at worst, may be fake machines set up to capture card information.
- Do not use ATMs with unusual signage, such as a command to enter your PIN twice to complete a transaction.
- Watch out for ATMs that appear to have been altered. If anything on the front of the machine looks crooked, loose or damaged, it could be a sign that someone attached a skimming device.
- Avoid using the ATM if suspicious individuals are standing nearby. Criminals may try to distract you as you use the machine to steal your cash, or watch as you type your PIN.
- Be aware that if your card gets stuck in the machine and someone approaches to help, it may be a scam. A criminal may be trying to watch as you enter your PIN code.
- If your card gets stuck in the machine, call your financial institution promptly to report the incident.
- As you key in your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to block anyone, or a camera, from viewing the numbers you type.
For more information contact the Haralson County Sherriff’s Crime Prevention Office by calling 770-646-2011.