Appleton police receive dozens of bank fraud complaints

WLUK file photo.

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Appleton police are asking residents to double check their bank accounts after the department said it received more 40 fraud complaints over the weekend.

Police say many of the reports were linked to unauthorized withdrawals from debit cards.

Luigi Navarette and his wife discovered money missing from their savings account Saturday night. We spoke with Navarette by phone Monday.

"It was for $505," he told FOX 11 News.

Navarette told us the money was stolen from their account with Fox Communities Credit Union in Appleton. He said it was taken from another bank's ATM in Milwaukee.

"Neither of us was in Milwaukee, both of us had our cards on us and so there was no reason to believe either of our cards were stolen," Navarette explained.

In a statement a spokesperson for the credit union said skimming devices were found at several of its ATMs.

Similar issues have popped up from the Fox Valley to Green Bay recently. Skimming devices are installed in card readers to take information from debit and credit card.

Fox Communities Credit Union's statement goes on to say, in part, "We are working with members who have experienced fraud or identified suspicious activity on their accounts and are deactivating those cards immediately."

The credit union said this likely affects transactions over the past month.

Navarette told FOX 11 he reported his experience to the Appleton Police Department.

"She said, 'yup, you're the third person to call in the last half hour or so,'" he said, describing the conversation.

According to Sergeant Dave Lund, the department has about 40 similar reports so far.

"There are a number here, not only in the City of Appleton, but around the Fox Valley," Lund explained.

Lund advises what to look for at any card readers, particularly at ATMs and gas stations.

"Does it look like something's been added on? Is that card reader maybe loose? Does it look like it may be taped or glued in place?" he described.

Navarette told us he is trying to get his money back through the credit union, but it could be a long process.

"It's tough. Obviously it's not the end of the world, but it's an unforeseen circumstance when it happens to you," he said.

Navarette advises everyone to check their accounts frequently just in case

Fox Communities Credit Union says its computer system was not compromised. So it says only ATM customers should have a problem.

If you are victim of debit card fraud, you should report the crime to your local law enforcement and notify your bank.

If you have any information regarding skimmers, you can report it anonymously by using the "REPORT" feature on the Appleton Police Department's free phone app.

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