BLOOMER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — More than a dozen people in a small Montcalm County town had their bank card numbers stolen, and police say they know exactly what store it happened at.
A number of people had purchases show up on their credit cards in the Detroit area after shopping at the Carson Village Market just outside of Carson City, according to the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.
The market told authorities hackers compromised their servers and stole credit and debit card information.
Davina Davidson was among those whose bank card info was stolen. She said she knows that identity theft happens everywhere, but said it feels like more of a violation because Carson City it is such a small town.
“In these small communities, there’s very little that happens that everyone doesn’t know about.” she said. “So, yes, I definitely felt violated and I continued to feel that way as things are coming about and we find out things further.”
Davidson said Chemical Bank called her home Sunday morning with a fraud alert.
“I got a phone call on Sunday morning at about eight o’clock — unusual for us to receive a phone call,” said Davidson.
She decided to go online and check things out, telling 24 Hour News 8 she didn’t want to give information over the phone to someone who might use it improperly.
When she went online, she saw several things that didn’t belong.
“There were three transactions that neither my husband nor I had approved,” she said.
Hundreds of dollars had been debited at Meijer stores in Southfield and Taylor on the east side of the state.
“Is my identity further compromised? Is someone going to try to get mortgages or buy a car with my identity?” she said she worried.
She said she contacted her bank, who said the money would be returned. She also ran her credit report online to make sure no one had compromised her identity further.
By the time 24 Hour News 8 spoke with her Monday evening, Davidson’s money had been returned to her account.
She wasn’t the only one affected.
“My transaction was over $400 worth of stuff. One of the other young ladies [I work with] had lost over $1,000, so that’s a lot of money in this small community,” she said. “It’s not fair to these people who are living dime-to-dime.”
So far, the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department and the Carson City Police Department have taken 17 reports of identity theft. The sheriff’s department said in a press release that there were more cases reported in other jurisdictions as well. Each case reported to authorities had a similar story and had all shopped at the Carson Village Market.
“When I got to work this morning, I did find out that there were several of my coworkers that had also been breached and several were also at Meijer locations in the Detroit area. Some were saying Macy’s, DSW. So it was kind of all different locations, but it was definitely a [Carson] city-wide type of thing,” Davidson said.
A representative for the Village Market told authorities the hack had been stopped and that its patrons are no longer at risk.
“You expect identity theft to happen in big cities and in places where we don’t know everyone. I can name off half of the people who work at the grocery store and I’m a first-name basis with the gas station people. It’s a small community you just don’t expect things like this to happen to us,” Davidson said.
Carson City Police said if you think your information may have been stolen you can report it to either the police agency where you live, the agency where the fraudulent activity took place or to the authorities where your bank is located.
Anyone who thinks they may be a victim of identity theft should report it to their bank and call the sheriff’s office at 989.831.3500.