Scam Alert: 'They got us for over $500'

Scam Alert: 'They got us for over $500'

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - Shelby Long checked her bank account Wednesday before paying her bills.

"They got us for over $500," she said. "This hit us really really hard."

In her statement: a suspicious withdrawal from an ATM in southern California.

Eugene police noticed a rash of calls reporting possible fraud on Wednesday and warned the public via a press release. As of Thursday afternoon, 53 people had reported similar cases in the past two days.

Police aren't sure if all the claims are related, but financial institutions have their theories.

Oregon Community Credit Union and Northwest Community Credit Union are telling their members it could be the fallout from a security breach earlier this year at the craft store Michaels. >>> Consumer notices from Michaels

Thieves attached skimming devices on debit card pin machines from February to May. Since then, the thieves may have made fake debit cards of their own - and they're just now trying them out.

The theory might fit: Long, the Cottage Grove resident who lost $500, bought $11 worth of crafts at Michaels back in February.

"I'm shocked that somebody with that level of intelligence," she said, "would use it for harm."

Matt Purvis, Northwest Community Credit Union's vice president of marketing, said it's a good reminder to check your bank accounts regularly.

If something looks fishy, call your financial institution

"There are regulations and laws in place where fraudulent transactions on cards are not ultimately your responsibility," Purvis said. "Your financial institution is going to have to help cover it."