Choctaws, investigators looking into credit card thefts

by Associated Press

Published: December 27,2011

Tags: casinos, credit cards, gambling, gaming, hospitality, hotels, identification theft, law, law enforcement, lodging, restaurants

PHILADELPHIA — The FBI, local law enforcement agencies and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians are looking into a security breach in a credit card processing systems at the Pearl River Resort in Neshoba County.

The tribe reported the problem.

Philadelphia Police Chief Richard Sistrunk said all victims had one thing in common — each had used their debit cards at Pearl River Resort before the theft occurred.

He said 22 cases were turned over to the FBI after it was discovered that the fraud took place in several other states such as California and as well Canada and the United Kingdom.

“What (they) are doing is once a debit or credit card is used on premises there, within the next 30 minutes that card may be used somewhere in California, Florida, or Canada,” said Sistrunk.

Sistrunk said authorities suspect the cases may be related.

Jason York, the interim CEO of the resort, said officials are aggressively investigating the breach.

Sistrunk said he anticipates more fraud cases being reported until the cases are solved.

In one case, Sistrunk said a man reported he had two unauthorized transactions totaling $725 on his debit card. One was made at an online shoe store in Waterbury, Conn., and the other was made to a place in the United Kingdom.

Sistrunk said authorities are urging caution from the public when using credit or debit cards at the resort.

“We’re suggesting that if you are going to go to the casino that you might want to obtain cash elsewhere before you go out there until there is some resolution,” he said.

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