Post navigation

Prev: (11/03/10) | Next: (11/03/10)

More credit card fraud reports on Hill — And, no, it’s not the parking meters

UPDATE: 11/4/10 — Capitol Hill credit card fraud wave tied to Broadway Grill

Another day of reports has pushed the number of credit card fraud cases in that past week on Capitol Hill to more than 100. On Tuesday, another 37 reports of financial fraud were filed on the Hill. We’ve included a map marking the approximate home or work location for each report. We’ve also included a map showing the more than 120 reports collected by the Seattle Police Department since the wave began growing in the last week of October.

If you have found that your account was compromised, contact your financial institution and then report the fraud to SPD at (206) 625-5011 (non emergency line). Here’s a note sent to us on Facebook with some advice for navigating the SPD phone tree:

Seattle Police are finally taking the credit/debit fraud reports from the hill seriously! If you’ve been hit, call the Police non-emergency number at 206-625-5011 press 2, then press 8 to report your case. You’ll get a “we’re experiencing a high volume of calls” recorded message, but it took me about 45 seconds of waiting after that to speak to someone. The operator I spoke to was patient and polite, unlike the stories I’ve read from folks trying to report their cases a few days ago.

We continue to gather information regarding the threat to a “point of interest” Secret Service agents say they identified and “reduced” on Friday.

In the meantime, we believe we can say with certainty that your dream of not having to pay for parking because of some sort of SDOT data breach is not going to come to fruition.

According to Rick Sheridan, spokesperson for SDOT, his department has not been contacted by the Secret Service regarding their investigation into the fraud wave. Sheridan also says that any thief looking to take advantage of the city’s parking payment technology is up against a big challenge “Our paystations utlize a sophisticated encryption system,” Sheridan said. “That ensures that patron’s credit card numbers are protected when they use the pay stations.”

You can now mark one hypothesis off your list.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

37 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
amandahugnkiss
amandahugnkiss
10 years ago

Just got a call from BECU, card was hit for $400 at Abercrombie/Fitch in NY. Definitely was not me. Do have to say I appreciated BECU’s attention to this. Bummer though. I have only used my card on the hill in the past 10 days at a gas station on Madison and the initials grocery store on 15th Ave. (read we can’t say establishment names). Before that I was out of town. Weird.

rosa, rugosa
rosa, rugosa
10 years ago

I’m just gonna throw it out there that nobody i know who boycotts Kroger (trying to localwash itself as QFC) has gotten hit. Now, i’m not saying this is conclusive, nor do i think it was a failure on the part of any affected business, i’m just saying.

boy1der1983
boy1der1983
10 years ago

It definately sounds like one of the major grocery stores could be a traget, however I can say, I shop regularly at the store Rosa referenced and thankfully have not been hit by any fraud. I shopped there using my card an unusual 4 times last week, so depending on when the data was collected, I may normally not be affected as I typically use cash outside of internet purchases and ATM withdrawls.

MountDana
MountDana
10 years ago

Wow, creepy! I just got a call from my bank with a suspicious charge by STD Solutions. I did a search online of “STD Solutions” and one of the top hits was from CHS and, viola! I’m a victim. And, I have my suspicions…..

ashmaster
ashmaster
10 years ago

$400 at a KMART in Iowa today. I use the BECU at the QFC on broadway and no other ATM. I think it’s obvious that’s a problem spot.

MJ
MJ
10 years ago

When I called SPD yesterday, they asked me a few questions and then referred me to http://www.ic3.gov to report I know of someone who travels thru Seattle frequently that got hit with charges in Norway and India recently. I think this is a concern if the feds have a website to take reports.

Christin
Christin
10 years ago

Just got a call from Bank of America saying that someone tried to use my card at Wal Mart in Cedar Rapids and spent over $500.00. Luckily the card was declined immediately and they called me right away. I live in Capitol Hill and frequently shop on Broadway.

ccfraudhitme
ccfraudhitme
10 years ago

Got called by my credit union. Got hit for $1500. Half of them didn’t hit the checking account, half of them went through.

Jeff P
Jeff P
10 years ago

I don’t boycott Kroger, I just don’t grocery shop on the hill. My number got swiped, and had not ever used at either QFC.

rc
rc
10 years ago

So if it does turn out to be one store that a lot of people are suspecting, or some other place, what then? All of us who have been stolen from have had to cancel cards and deal with a lot of hassle, that maybe could have been avoided? What is the level of responsibility of the store that was used to get our information from-are they an innocent victim in this, without blame? I’d like to direct some anger at the local place responsible, or be given the choice to no longer give them my business for legitimate reasons.

Noelle153
Noelle153
10 years ago

Tried to buy lunch this afternoon but my debit card was declined, it turned out I missed the phone call from BECU. When I talked w/ the customer service rep he told me that no charges had been charged or were pending on my card but that my card number “had been compromised.” I tried to press for more info and all he could come up with was “maybe the police intercepted the transaction and reported it?” not the best customer service or answer, but I guess there isn’t more I can do? Sounds like most of the CHS posters had more information about the suspect charges from their bank- anyone else out there get a call like mine today?

Gary
Gary
10 years ago

Was called by BECU on Sat. Someone charged $10 to STD Solutions same as others are reporting. Interesting thing is the card that was attacked is a BECU card I rarely use. but I did use it at QFC on 10/13. I think, that may have been the day that I also did some banking and didn’t get enough validation stamps to cover the time spent waiting. So when I left the garage I had to pay $2 for parking. By chance, have other people attacked, used a CC to pay for the parking under QFC?

gk
gk
10 years ago

A few of us in my office all got hit with fraudulent charges and the only common thing we can think of is using groupon. Does anyone else use this?

AS
AS
10 years ago

I don’t live on the hill but i’m there all the time. No grocery shopping, mostly bars, but I did purchase a groupon recently. STD Solutions and Walmart were the charges Chase called me about.

amylsmith
amylsmith
10 years ago

It gets better, my friends. Knowing that Cap Hill residents banking with BECU are getting hit, some phishing jerks are using a dial up scam to BECU card holders. If you receive a phone call with a computer voice saying that your card has been switched off for fraud, and to press 1 to reactivate, DON’T DO IT. This happened to me today. I didn’t press 1, but called the bank and they confirmed it as a scam.

As long as you don’t give your information, it will be unsuccessful. No bank would ever call you and ask you for your account information — they already have it.

aj
aj
10 years ago

I haven’t used my card on Capital Hill in at least a month, so its more than just in Capital Hill. Got hit for about $160 in NY and New Jersey. Good thing I noticed and closed the account 2 days later. Also BECU member.

Paige Y
Paige Y
10 years ago

I had my information stolen last week and I’m not even currently on Capitol Hill although that is still my permanent address and the address associated with my card. Not sure if it is related but my step-dad’s was also taken and he is on the hill. Also my mom has noted an extreme influx of scamming junk mail supposedly coming from our bank, something that has never happened before. I got hit for $200 somewhere that my bank’s fraud department flagged and stop and another $150 in Tennessee.

reyes
reyes
10 years ago

Tried to get coffee this morning and my BECU debit card was declined. Shortly after I received a call from BECU that my card was comprimised and the account had been shut down. The last places I have used the it at were on Cap Hill, including the Broadway and Pike QFC. A couple days ago my partner’s Chase account also got hit w/ fraud after she used her debit card at the QFC on B’way and Pike. I just called and reported it to the SPD and the (very nice) guy volunteered the information that indeed the Secret Service is involved and that the whole city of Seattle is under serious scrutinty right now due to rampant fraud. Creepy!

kage3000
kage3000
10 years ago

I found charges at Quinns, Madison pub, Barrio, Broadway grill, and Neighbors!! I’m a hipster, this isn’t possible!

Seriously though, I haven’t been hit yet, but just to be careful I’m using a second checking account with a limited daily limit just in case. Would that help or just overdraft? Kinda curious if the extra caution is worth it.

Kate
Kate
10 years ago

I got the automated “phishing” phone call asking to press 1 to be connected to my bank, although I don’t use BECU. I figured it was a scam so I hung up. A friend of mine got the same call and didn’t hang up, and got the standard fraudulent charges from STD Solutions and such.

Did everyone with the fraudulent charges respond to a phone call?

Stine
Stine
10 years ago

I just got the call today that I am currently buying things in Paris (yet currently in Seattle) – they charged some $80.00 to my debit card but my bank contacted me immediately via e-mail and phone call. Plus, while I was on the phone with the bank the “scammers” were trying to charge another $250 while we talking . . ack. Caution to everyone when calling the bank back, use the number on the back of your card not the one left on ur answering machine . . . it may also be a scam . . .just to be safe I would advise speaking with a banker in person. I cancelled my debit/credit card because something is happening on the Hill and the chances of “those ppl” having that number is significant. Best of luck to everyone and a big middle finger to those who made monkey wrench of my day!

GDL
GDL
10 years ago

“Initials grocery store” is the Culprit Merchant whose system has been compromised!!! That is the only place I used my card at! I have charges made from their parent company store in Georgia!!! (why the heck would I want to live there??!)for $100+. I spoke with a personal banker in the hill and the said that hey were told that the FBI has been involved since 10/28. But they are not saying as to which merchant it is as they do not want that merchant to go down like TJ Maxx did when they were found to have a breach in their system a couple years back…

This is all very frustrating and upseting!!! I just got off the phone with my bank in tears as I should not have to deal with this mess after working 10hrs all day in a high stressed job!

David
David
10 years ago

That is EXACTLY what I do. A second, free, checking account with overdraft protection explicitly and deliberately removed. I only ever keep $150-$200 in it and use it for purchases in real life and online. If I need to buy something bigger it takes all of 60 seconds to log on to the bank’s site and transfer the right amount of money from my other account, which takes effect immediately. Every couple of days I “top it off” to $150, online.

My paycheck goes into the _other_ account, so can’t be sucked away. Yes, the bank gets it all back to you … but I don’t want to be caught without, have the rent check bounce, etc.

It is well worth the minimal bother.

amos
amos
10 years ago

chill girlfriend – you’re bank won’t hold your responsible for the fraudulent charges.

whaaaaaaat
whaaaaaaat
10 years ago

“Kroger (trying to localwash itself as QFC) has gotten hit.”

I don’t see this as localwashing, they’re not being slick or weird about it.

On the subject, I use my card at the 15th ave one all the time, but haven’t gotten hit.

Aly
Aly
10 years ago

My debit card information was stolen and used for a $900 charge at a men’s clothing store in the Dominican Republic. My roommate’s information was stolen and used for a $1200 charge, and two $300 charge’s in Ecuador. Crazy!

Aly
Aly
10 years ago

My roommate got two charges of $300 for STD solutions too!! What the heck?!

YeslerWay
YeslerWay
10 years ago

Pretty sure the information has been stolen over a longer period than the last several weeks or month. Card account that was hit in our case had not been used on Capitol Hill since (or anywhere in Seattle) since mid-Sept due to out of country work travel since then.

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

I just got hit (11/4) and I use groupon. The other places I used the affected card on the hill in the last month are:
Pagliacci Pizza (Miller)
Genki Sushi (Broadway)
Safeway (14th & John)

I haven’t bought a groupon recently but they do have my card info stored.

Mike
Mike
10 years ago

My partner and I were taken for just under $1000.00 on his BECU debit card. This is the second time our account (my card last year for $4800) we have had our BECU account compromised. The odd thing is the cards themselves are rarely used since they are associated with our home account. The good thing is that BECU is very quick to refund the money after it is confirmed it was part of a scam.

joana
joana
10 years ago

O don’t know what the Police are doing. My fraudulant use was paying utility bills and tickets. The court doesn’t keep a record of the card used to pay fines. Apparantly it’s OK to pay your court costs and fines with stolen credit cards. The utility companies will not give you the information of the card users account, even if it was your card! I paid the damn bill and I want to know whos bill I paid. NOPE. Police report over a year ago, not a peep of progress. I don’t think they really think of it as crime, just a technical problem. Not the Hill but the problem is rampant.

JC
JC
10 years ago

I’m keeping $40 in my debit card at a time these days, that’s it. I reccomend everyone doing the same until this blows over.

Dino Rossi's Lover
Dino Rossi's Lover
10 years ago

You still owe me $10.00 Lyman and these bumps haven’t cleared up on my crotch.

UW_Student
UW_Student
10 years ago

My BofA credit card was “compromised” (that’s what bank of america said – “compromised”) two months ago. The only info they gave me was that my card number stored in a computer system was most likely hacked into – they were unable to give me what business it was for “security purposes” (ha, what security?!). The only reason I found out someone had my number was that it had declined at the store…and I had received NO notification from Bank of America at all, about my CC# being compromised.

I’m not sure if anyone else has the option with their banks, but with Bank of America and Wells Fargo, you can place an alert system on your credit/debit cards where any online purchases or any purchases exceeding XX amount will mean the bank will text or e-mail you automatically. You can also place a block on all international purchases with most banks as well (I’ve done this with Bank of America and Wells Fargo).

I’ve had my identity stolen a few years ago (also while living on the Hill) and the SPD pretty much said I was SOL. Remember to check your credit reports as well everyone! It’s a mess once someone has your personal information. :(

Travis
Travis
10 years ago

10/30 Sat Night used parking meters on the hill on Pike near Rudy’s – got my haircut at Rudy’s and then went back home to the EastSide. Only reason I was in Seattle, only time I’ve been on the hill in a while. That night I had 3 separate charges of about $200 each at a GameStop in PA, and one $12 from a bank in Florida.

I’m still betting on the Parking Meters…

Travis
Travis
10 years ago

Also, just tried reporting the identity theft to the SPD, but they wouldn’t take the report because I don’t live on Cap Hill and need to report it to my local PD…Not sure how that helps them solve the problem occurring on the hill.

Pradeep
Pradeep
10 years ago

This week few of my friends told me about fraud with their credit cards. It was all from Wells Fargo. Just as I was listening, I got a call that a fraud was detected on my Wells Fargo card as well. All our cards were used in North Carolina/Virginia at Walmarts. Amounts swiped were about $200 to $250 (reapeated swipes for amounts of this range).. We are all from Chicago.