Nathan Bowe, Published December 29 2013
Officials: Detroit Lakes liquor store source of credit card fraudDETROIT LAKES, Minn. – City officials say it’s safe to use debit and credit cards again at the municipal liquor store here, after it was identified as the source of the largest transaction card fraud case in Detroit Lakes history.
Lakes Liquor “suffered a compromise in its data system resulting in unauthorized access to customer credit card account information,” store manager Jim Watland said.
Customers who used credit cards or debit cards at Lakes Liquor from Oct. 27 to Nov. 25 were affected.
“The information involved includes customer name, credit or debit card number, the card’s expiration date and security code,” Watland said.
Because of the ongoing criminal investigation, Detroit Lakes Finance Officer Pamela Slifka said city officials can’t comment on what went wrong, what was done to fix the system, whether any employees were disciplined, or whether the city could be liable for the money lost.
More than 250 people have reported cases of financial card fraud linked to the city liquor store.
“Those were the ones who contacted us; there may be quite a few who didn’t,” said Detroit Lakes police Investigator Eric Bergren.
There are no suspects yet. The liquor store was identified as the source of the problem after the city hired a computer forensics firm “to do an exam on their system,” Bergren said.
Detroit Lakes police are working with banks, fraud departments and the U.S. Secret Service in trying to track down the perpetrators, who are not believed to be local residents and may not even live in the United States, Bergren said.
Bergren believes those who lost money were all reimbursed by their banks or credit card companies. He didn’t provide a specific amount, but judging from police incident reports, it was easily in the tens of thousands.