Your credit card can be used by scammers without ever leaving your wallet

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NEW BERLIN (WITI) -- In the last six months, Target and Michaels have made customers aware of security breaches that threaten customers' credit and debit cards. Now, local police say they're getting reports from citizens saying they've been ripped off -- and are warning of a scam in which your credit or debit card doesn't have to leave your wallet to make you a victim.

Caryn Melton's debit card number was used over and over and over again on Saturday night, April 19th at a Pick 'n Save store in New Berlin.

The third time crooks tried using the card, it was denied.

The entire time, Melton's debit card was right where it should be -- inside her wallet at her home.

Through this scam, $812 disappeared from Melton's bank account.

"Disappointment, frustration. It concerns me how much of this is rampant on the local, state and national level," Melton said.

Melton will be reimbursed by her bank, but that could take a week or so. In the meantime, Melton is out the money.

This is the latest case involving the hacking of consumers' credit and debit card numbers.

Just last week, Michales confirmed that information belonging to 2.6 million debit and credit card customers was stolen.

Additionally, hackers recently stole personal information from as many as 70 million Target store customers -- including 40,000 debit and credit card numbers.

The numbers can be used to make purchases online -- or crooks can even make phony cards with customers' real number.

Hermant Jain, a professor of IT Management at the UWM Lubar School of Business says specialists are working on more secure payment systems with multiple identification sources or fingerprints and eye scans.

"Once they have the (card) number, it's easy to make the cards. The technology is there. We are trying to fix as many of those as possible, but I think there's always a danger that some place or people are going to be getting into the information. The merchants are a good target because you can get lots of credit cards at one place," Jain said.

Some consumers say they're going back to using cash -- in order to avoid falling victim to a scam.

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