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Hundreds victims of credit card fraud in Pinal County

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FLORENCE, AZ (CBS5) -

There have been a rising number of fraudulent credit and debit card reports in Pinal County since Jan. 18, 2013, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office (PCSO).

PCSO started an investigation after receiving a number of reports of fraudulent charges and found that from Jan. 18 to 29 there have been 154 reports of fraudulent credit and debit cards. 

As of Thursday, Jan. 31, PCSO said they had 280 reported cases, with about two new cases an hour being reported.

"We've had three cards compromised and one of our bank accounts compromised so far," said Charles Woynarski, who lives in Gold Canyon.

Woynarski and at least five other neighbors have been victims. PCSO investigators said their credit cards had been compromised likely through a variety of ways, including credit card skimming and scanners that can copy information down from a distance.

"The first thing I did was get one of those aluminum purses to keep my cards in," said victim Linda Deutcher.

PCSO said aluminum cases and sleeves can help prevent criminals from using scanners that can copy credit card information.

The investigation showed that victims had used their credit or debit cards within Pinal County at various locations, then days later the fraudulent charges appeared. The fraudulent charges are happening outside of Arizona both nationally and internationally including Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, North Carolina, Italy, France, Canada and Mexico.

If you made a purchase in Pinal County and a fraudulent charge was made on your credit or debit card, report it to PCSO on their non-emergency phone number at 800-420-8689.

PCSO needs help identifying the three males in the picture, and detectives would like to question them.

If you have any information that could help PCSO with this crime, please contact them at 520-866-5111.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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