Huntsville restaurant at center of credit card scam investigation

Published: Aug. 26, 2011 at 1:13 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2011 at 9:31 PM CDT
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Several people have had their credit card information stolen, and it may be connected to an investigation into a Huntsville restaurant.

At least three more cases have been filed with Huntsville police in the past two weeks, adding to more than a dozen others.

The investigation now spans the country and because of that Huntsville police said they are ready to hand these cases over to federal agents.

One Huntsville victim had a $260 charge from a Target in Connecticut. Another, more than $2,000 was charged to their card from Atlanta, and the most recent victim, said they had a $560 charge from a Walgreens in Illinois.

Of more than a dozen Huntsville victims, many claim their credit card information was stolen after eating at the Smokehouse at Bridge Street.

Back in May, Smokehouse management released this statement.

"While only a small number of customers have been affected, we are aware of this situation and we are working with the appropriate law enforcement authorities."

With new cases being filed and the victims still pointing at the Smokehouse, management released this statement.

"Unfortunately, incidents of this nature are on the rise throughout the region and across the country. Local law enforcement officials have told us that no evidence has been provided which supports that the restaurant is the source of the problem.  As always, we take customer concerns seriously and will continue to work to ensure that our customers are protected. We strongly encourage anyone that believes they have been the victim of a crime to report it to the proper authorities and agencies."

The lead investigator said the common thread between all of the victims is Smokehouse, but they have not ruled out other possibilities, like mal-ware bugging computers to steal information or skimmers which are devices attached to ATMs to record your pin and card numbers.

"They may unload mal-ware on your computer that could help them mark your key strokes or get information so its possible that if your computer is compromised that your information could get stolen that way as well," said Michele Mason with the BBB.

However, everyone of these victims probably used an ATM, swiped their card at a gas pump or shopped online, and police said any one of those could have compromised their credit cards.

Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved.