HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WPTA) – On Saturday, three men were arrested, one of the suspects telling police they were quote, “members of a crew that places skimming devices on ATMs to make money.” Police say they found the devices in Huntington and Fort Wayne.
According to court documents, the suspects told police they were from Romania and had been living in the U.S. for a short time.
Rick Walz with the Northern Indiana Better Business Burea (BBB) says card skimming is all too common.
“Skimming technology has been around for a while and it’s quite frequent,” Walz said. “With any type of scam activity when people are scammed they probably only report it 25% of the time.”
Skimmers are most often found at ATMs and gas stations, but it’s possible for retail stores or restaurants to be involved in a skimming scam as well.
Here are some tips to help keep you and your wallet safe.
- Stay vigilant when using a credit card to pay for gas or when withdrawing cash from an ATM.
- If any part of the gas pumps card reader looks suspicious pay for the gas inside.
- Always try to use the official bank ATM instead of non-bank ATM’s which are often found inside of convenience stores or bars.
- While entering a pin number you keep your fingers covered with your other hand.
- Use credit during a transaction that way if you see a fraudulent charge you and dispute it with the credit card company instead of losing money from your personal accounts.
Walz says they’ve also seen an increase in a new scam called shimming, which is when scammers insert a shim, a paper-thin, card-sized device with an embedded microchip and flash storage, into the slot where you enter the chip side of your credit or debit cart. When you insert your card at a gas pump, ATM, or another card reader, it copies and saves your payment information.
His advice is to use the cards touch to pay technology instead and alert the store to suspicious activities.
“I think you have the right to not be victimized by scams,” Walz said.
If you have been the victim of a scam, the BBB says to report it to them and your card company. If you find a skimming or shimming device at an ATM or gas pump, alert the business immediately.
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