Officials now estimate that over 600 people in Northwest Georgia have been hit by a banking scam that has stolen the information from peoples debit and credit cards.  The FBI says that they are not sure as to why thieves have targeted rural Northwest Georgia for the scam.  They are conducting survelience in hopes to get clues as to who might be behind the scam.  Banking customers in Walker, Catoosa and Chattooga Counties have been affected by the scam. 

In one of the area’s biggest bank fraud schemes, police and bank officials believe the debit card numbers could have been stolen in an elaborate skimming scheme at a LaFayette, Ga., business. Skimmers are devices that record information on bank cards’ magnetic strips.

But that is only a theory. "It’s a very perplexing case," said LaFayette police Sgt. Stacey Meeks. "At this point, we don’t know where the breach is."

In October, U.S. Secret Service agents investigated a case in which two men placed skimmer devices on Regions Bank ATM card readers in East Ridge, and in Dalton, Ga. While the men were arrested in Nashville in connection with the skimming incidents, police didn’t know of any local accounts that were compromised.

Authorities said they are investigating every option. One theory is a skimming device could have been used on a credit/debit card machine at a local store to steal the debit card numbers and PIN numbers. The thieves then could have created duplicate cards.  Over 17 financial institutions have reported customers having information stolen.


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