Debit Card Fraud–Have You Been “Skimmed?”

A friend of mine just got scammed out of $11,000 because he used his debit card at a gas station that had been “skimmed.”

 

 

High-tech thieves are putting devices called “skimmers” on ATMs and gas station pumps.  It’s hard to tell, especially if you’re not paying attention.  Here’s what to do:

–Take a quick look to make sure the card slot hasn’t been tampered with, like above.

–If you’re using your debit card, run it as a credit card purchase to avoid inputting your pin number.

–Use the ATM at a bank, rather than a convenience store–bank ATM’s will be better guarded.

–Register for online banking and check your statement daily.

Most skimmers are high-tech and internally placed nowdays.  Unfortunately, they’re also on the rise.  The US Secret Service reported a whopping 3,000 increase in skimming thefts last year.  You can find more information about debit card security here.

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Comments

4 responses to “Debit Card Fraud–Have You Been “Skimmed?””

  1. Denisha W. says:

    Thanks for the picture. Now I know what to look out for. How scary!!!

  2. Jess says:

    That happened to me at a gas station. It had been happening a lot in our area and so I was always extra careful to check the card reader to make sure it looked right.

    Luckily it was caught and our bank was notified. They then notified us that they had put my card on freeze and to come get a new one.

    and another FYI: They not only tamper with the machines to skim your card and pin#, but they’ve started to advance and can now sit in their cars at a distance and get pick it up electronically somehow (I think that’s what happened to me).

  3. Devon says:

    it’s so sad that it has come to this!! but thanks for the heads up! i also heard that if you lock your car with a remote… there are now people who can use some electronic device to grab the electronic code and unlock your car. best to use the key to manually lock your car… or else press the lock button right before you shut the door! (i usually don’t worry about it unless i go to a crowded parking lot or something)

  4. Sheryl Kierstead says:

    Pay attention to cars in the parking lots. If you see laptops in use that may be a red flag. Also if the scanner itself is any different from others, use another one. What I would like to know is how they are getting into these to make the changes necessary. Especially at the particular 7-11 that it has been reported as having been done at. Aren’t there cameras out there? If not there really should be.

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