Killeen Family Victims of Debit Card Scam
One Central Texas mother is trying to help get the word out about a debit card scam that has been going around Ellison High School as the students approach summer break.
Meet Luvina Sabree whose son was talked into giving up is debit card and pin number to another student who tempted the young man with easy money. Now Sabree's family is kicking off the summer thousands of dollars in debt. Here is how the scam works:
A classmate deposits a fake check into a USAA youth spending account in exchange for cash which is drawn out immediately. They next went into the Walmart on Trimmier and made a small purchase and also took out 100 dollars along with several other transactions within a few minutes of each other. 15 minutes later another 10 transactions happen at the Walmart in Harker Heights
Sabree had no idea all this activity was happening on her son's card until she looked at the account online and saw it was almost $3000 in the red.
Chelsea Edwards with News 10 reports that USAA youth accounts are set up through their parent's checking account. When an account reaches a zero balance, money is pulled over from the parent's account. What is worse is that when Sabree contacted USAA she got a letter the next day holding her responsible for the overdrafts.
Sabree also reported the scam to Killeen ISD who told her this has happened over a hundred times and that she should file a police report with Killeen PD.
News 10 also reports that it can be difficult to investigate these types of scams because the ATM's being used in the scam may not contain a security camera. If they can't see the crime taking place on the store's surveillance cameras, it becomes even harder to find the culprit.
Sabree said she thinks the scammers know the USAA process all too well and are targeting kids to make a fast buck. She told News 10, "After my husband and I served in the military to help protect this country, [we thought] that USAA would help us and protect us and protect our account, and they didn't do that."
If your child has a USAA card you may want to take the following steps to prevent a situation like this one. Experts recommend setting up limits and alerts on teen accounts. Get an alert for any account activity and then you'll see everything going on. Credit and prepaid cash cards may also be a better option because they do not offer direct access to cash.