Residents victimized by theft of card information

OKEECHOBEE — Three local citizens this week filed reports with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) about their credit and debit cards being compromised.

The victims reported losses anywhere from $239.70 to over $670.
OCSO Deputy Jose Garduno reported meeting with a 71-year-old man Wednesday, Sept. 30, who found he had been losing $39.95 every month since April to a group calling themselves Life Watch USA.

According to the deputy’s report the man noticed the unusual charge on his bank statement. Then, when he went to his bank to inquire about the charge, he found out Life Watch USA had been taking $39.95 each month from his account.

“At no time has he requested services from the company,” stated the deputy’s report.

The victim then contacted Life Watch USA “… and was given little to no information on this matter,” stated Deputy Garduno.

The Okeechobee man contacted his bank, but the report does not indicate if that institution refunded his money.

In another incident, Deputy Brant Harden met with a 50-year-old Okeechobee woman Thursday and learned her debit card had been compromised and used to make purchases in Texas.

Deputy Harden stated in his report the woman’s card information was used twice for purchases of $573.54 and $84. The purchases were made within minutes of each other.

The victim contacted her bank and her money was refunded.

The third fraud complaint of the day was handled by Deputy Brian Cross.
Apparently the 48-year-old victim tried to used his Visa credit card at a local restaurant, but the transaction request was declined. When he contacted his bank, he found out someone had used his card number nine times in different stores around the Fort Lauderdale area.

Those purchases totaled $670.20.

Deputy Cross went on to state the man had apparently used his card at a local gas station where a skimmer had been found on a gas pump.

If someone has used your personal information without your permission, many times your financial institution will return the money you lost. But, you will likely be asked to file a report with local law enforcement first.

If you live in the city, contact the Okeechobee City Police Department at 863-763-5521. For county residents, contact the sheriff’s office at

Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office

863-763-3117.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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