Clover, S.C. - Your credit and debit cards could be at higher risk of getting hacked this holiday season, experts say. Several people in the Clover area, in South Carolina, say they've already been targeted.
Fraud experts say they've seen the uptick in stolen credit and debit card information since the beginning of November. One woman says her checking account was completely drained just a couple of days ago.
"I went down to Walgreens to pick up my son's medication and I thought, well, I know we have money," said Charlotte Jackson.
The next thing she knew, Jackson says her account was wiped clean. Someone had gotten a hold of her debit card information and she's not sure how.
Jackson posted about it on Facebook and found out she wasn't alone.
"I can probably count maybe 10 just in the last two days that after I posted something about our card getting hit, that other peoples' cards had also been hit. Many of them are Family Trust members also," said Jackson.
We reached out to Jackson’s bank, Family Trust, in Rock Hill. Their fraud expert, Sharon Archie, says they see an increase in credit and debit fraud every year around this time. She says they see between 30 and 50 disputes a week.
"Generally we see more fraud cases during the holidays because our customers are actively using their cards and out shopping. This is something we plan for," said Archie.
She says it's a trend all banks experience during the holidays. As most financial institutions, Family Trust is moving toward chip-enabled cards, to make it harder for hackers to steal.
"Each transaction has a unique approval code that's generated by the chip. It's harder to make a fraudulent plastic because you need more than just the card number and the information off the plastic," said Archie.
The fraud expert says the chip on your card only works if the place you're shopping uses the chip. She says many merchants are going in that direction so they don’t have to pay for fraudulent charges.
Family Trust asks card holders to report any suspicious activity on their accounts so they can stop fraudulent charges. They say if a customer does lose money from a fake charge, like Charlotte Jackson did, they will be reimbursed by the bank.