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Sheriff Warns About Credit Card Skimmers

Credit card skimmers can be disguised in many ways including this device that fits over the card reader as an almost exact duplicate.

By David Howell


OAKLAND – Reports of credit card skimmers are popping up everywhere and Yalobusha County is no exception according to Sheriff Lance Humphreys. The sheriff said deputies investigated a report of a potential skimmer in Oakland when $700 was withdrawn from a lady’s bank account after she purchased $36 in gas at a local station.

“We didn’t find the skimmer, but convenience stores alongside I-55 are prime targets due to the high volume of traffic,” the sheriff stated.  A skimmer is a card-reading device placed inside a credit card reader slot at an ATM or gas pump. The device captures the financial information from the card and the stolen data can be used to make fraudulent charges – either online or with a counterfeit credit card.

The sheriff provided tips to help protect consumers from this growing problem.

• The most important precaution is to tug on the credit card scanner. Often times it is only stuck on with temporary glue or double-sided tape.

• If you are at a gas station, look at the other credit card readers to see if they look the same as the one you are using.

• Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and inspect the card reader at the pump. Look for signs of tampering. If it appears that the panel has been opened or that its security seal has been broken, tell the cashier.

• Use your card as a credit card instead of a debit card. If you use it as a debit card and enter your pin number, the information can be used to access your bank account.  

• Monitor your bank statements constantly. Look for overdraft notices. Stay vigilant even if things look okay. Crooks may have your information for a while before going on a spending spree.

“Bottom line, reports of fraud from skimmers are popping up everywhere and the technology used by the crooks is getting better and better. You just can’t be to careful these days,” Humphreys added.

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