Officials in New York City broke up an identity theft ring last week and found hundreds of victims were from North Texas, many from Mesquite. Four men have been charged in a 405 count indictment.
The Manhattan DA said they'd turned a hotel room into an identity theft factory.
The thieves turned personal information into fake credit and debit cards with good numbers and distributed them in other states for use.
Jason Bonds spends a lot of time on his smartphone checking his bank accounts through an app.
"I keep track of everything I do. I do a lot of business online so therefore my information is constantly checked on a daily basis," said Bonds. "I noticed that I had a couple of fraudulent charges there with some stuff that I hadn't done."
He wasn't the only one.
Michael Wade got an e-mail alert about a purchase at a Best Buy in Pennsylvania
"It was kind of hard because I was over here working that night in Dallas, Texas," he said.
Nearly 400 North Texans who used their debit cards and pin numbers to buy gasoline at a RaceWay gas station in Mesquite had their personal information stolen. It was discovered in a hotel room in New York City.
"We checked the pumps for devices known as skimmers," said Sgt. Brian Parrish with the Mesquite Police Department.
He said officers did not find the devices which slip inside the credit card slot and collects personal information.
"It appears that that may have been the situation here but we don't know exactly how it happened," said Sgt. Parrish.
New York police said they found hundreds of fake credit and debit cards using the account information stolen from Mesquite
The four men arrested were accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the victims.
"I don't like it. You feel like you've been cheated on. But I guess you got to live with it," said Michael Wade.
Banks contacted customers and vice-versa. Debit cards were canceled and new ones were issued.
"I can tell you right now I don't plan on paying at the pump ever again because it's just not worth my time. I would much rather not deal with it whatsoever. I'll just go inside. Ain't nothing to it," said Jason Bonds.
The actual identify theft cases are New York cases. If you have had your information compromised, Mesquite Police want to hear from you.
If you're looking for safety tips, don't use your debit card at the pump. Pay for your purchase using cash, or credit. Then you'll be prompted to put in a zip code, not a pin. This gives you better protection.
KDFW FOX 4
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