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Elgin police investigate reports of identity theft

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ELGIN, OK (KSWO) - Elgin’s police department has been flooded with more than a dozen reports of identity theft Monday and over the weekend.

According to the reports, the victims discovered hundreds or thousands of dollars were withdrawn from their checking accounts, nearly wiping them out. All the victims either live in Elgin or they reported making a lot of transactions with their debt or credit cards in Elgin. The Elgin police chief says they have checked with all the banks with ATMs in town, and they reported back that no suspicious devices, like skimmers, were found on the machines.

One of the victims, Aaron Clark, says that he just had a feeling something was wrong. On Saturday night $400 disappeared from his account. The bank says the money was withdrawn from an ATM all the way in Oklahoma City.

That's when Clark took to Facebook because he knew he wasn't the only victim.

"I felt sick to my stomach," said Clark.

Clark describes what he felt after seeing that someone withdrew what was left of his hard-earned money.

"I work hard all week for my money, and to see someone else blowing it when they didn't work for it, that's what made me pretty upset," said Clark.

While Clark lives in Cyril, he uses the ATM in Elgin on his way home from work. He posted to Facebook on Saturday night about what happened because it's not the first time he has been a victim of identity theft.

He invited people who have also been hit with fraud to come out and file a report with the Comanche County Sheriff's Office Sunday.

"I just like people to get caught because the last time this happened, nothing ever happened,” said Clark. “If we don't do something about it, the crooks keep doing it."

Comanche County Sheriff Ken Stradley says you should report identity theft immediately because the thieves can easily slip away.

"This won't go away,” said Stradley. “This is a continued deal. Once we figure out how they are doing it, they'll turn around and try to figure out another way to do it."

Stradley says the one of the ways to protect yourself against identity theft is to check and know what is in your bank accounts, and where you are swiping your card.

"Be aware of where you are at and your surroundings, where you use your card,” said Stradley. “It's very, very important to protect yourself like that."

All the reports have been turned over to the Elgin police department so they are heading up the investigation. Right now they are trying to find out how the information was stolen, and at what business or ATM it could have happened.

If you are a victim of identity theft in the Elgin area, police encourage to first contact your bank and cancel your cards. Then call 580-355-9303 to file a report with the department.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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