Wednesday final update:
For a second time in two weeks, Conway bank customers have been targeted in an apparent banking scam.
More than 15 customers of various banks had filed reports Wednesday with the Conway Police Department of fraudulent charges originating out of Oklahoma City.
Customers from US Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Metropolitan National Bank, Bank of America and Regions Bank filed reports.
More were coming forward as the day went on, and CPD public information officer La Tresha Woodruff said it was possible some didn’t yet know they had been defrauded.
According to the reported incidents, more than $11,400 in unauthorized transactions had taken place in Oklahoma City at convenience stores and automatic teller machines since Sept. 1.
Woodruff said the department’s financial crimes detectives looked into the incidents, “but didn’t find that any criminal activity originated [in Conway.]”
“Basically there’s not much they can do,” Woodruff said. “But it’s important that customers make a report on this here because they’ll need it for their banks’ purposes when claiming they were defrauded or scammed.”
In each incident officers were referring victims to Oklahoma City police, according to the reports.
Woodruff said because detectives did not find that the frauds originated locally, Conway police will not be able to move further with an investigation.
“It’s unfortunate and our detectives would love to go after the people who are scamming Conway residents.
They don’t have the authority to do that because it doesn’t look as if this originated in Conway,” she said.
Though the recent scam bears similarities to incidents reported about one year ago in a “skimming scam,” Woodruff said there is no evidence that this is the result of skimming.
In June of 2011, about two dozen customers of various banks reported fraudulent charges after Conway police say a group used a recording device to extract information from bank cards via the card’s magnetic strip.
An investigator with the Arkansas Attorney General’s office warned locals in a presentation held in Conway earlier this summer of a “new scam” that was reported in Springdale.
Investigator Stephen Svetz told the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees to be aware of a “gas pump reader,” most likely attached to the pump farthest from the clerk’s station.
“We’ve had a skimming scam here before and that was investigated. That’s something they thought originated here, but in these cases it looks like it originated out of California and Oklahoma even though the victims are here in Conway,” Woodruff said.
In the last week of August several customers of Centennial Bank filed reports with the department after they found unauthorized charges originating in Los Angeles, Calif.
The bank announced by media release Wednesday that the unauthorized charges were the result of a skimming scam.
Eric King, Centennial's marketing manager, said skimming devices were used at two Conway locations.
He declined to say where the devices were located.
Two victims of the latest scam stated they were told by their banks that the fraud was the result of skimming.