Bank of North Georgia
$45,000 stolen from 95 bank accounts
by John A. Winters
Approximately $45,000 has been taken by thieves stealing financial information from an area bank’s customers, according to authorities.
Almost 100 complaints have already been filed with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office by those with accounts at Bank of North Georgia, said Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Yarbrough.
“We’ve had 95 reports so far from customers whose debit or ATM cards and PINs have been stolen and then cloned,” Yarbrough said. “The cards are being used in other states including Louisiana, Florida and Texas,” he said.
“We are working with the bank investigators and looking at videotapes,” Yarbrough said, adding the total to date is about $45,000. Almost all the customers affected live in Coweta County.
It is believed the thieves used some type of skimming device to obtain the PINs and financial credit card numbers. The suspects can remotely read the information obtained by the skimmers using Bluetooth or wireless devices. Those skimmers can also get the PIN numbers. In turn, they can use financial card cloning machines, which can be purchased on eBay, to create new cards.
A similar incident occurred last year, but involved financial information stolen from those using them to pay for fuel at various gas stations located off Interstate 85 exits. Hundreds reported their financial information was stolen. Yarbrough said one suspect has since been arrested in New York City from that case.
Customers are urged to check their card statements for any suspicious activity and to make a report with the sheriff’s office.