Tips to feel a little safer from card skimmers
Many of us find it more convenient these days to pay with plastic rather than paper money, but how closely are you paying attention to where and how you are using your debit/credit card? Criminals have skimming devices to steal credit card numbers
for illegal duplication and sale, and their methods are becoming more and more sophisticated. In some cases a skimmer has been placed inside of a gas pump leaving no visible sign of the device on the outside yet it will skim your debit/credit and PIN information. Always look for anything unusual on a gas pump, especially near the credit card reader, and report it immediately to the gas station manager.
Increases in skimming have also been seen at ATM machines. In order to reduce the risk, feel the card reader and the surrounding areas for anything that is loose or appears added to the machine, or just seems out of place, and check if anything is hanging from the ATM, such as a wire, duct tape, or plastic mountings. If you see anything amiss, don’t use the ATM, notify the bank immediately, and request the bank personnel check for a skimming device.
The easiest way to keep your debit/credit cards safe is not to use them at easily compromised places such as on the Internet, in restaurants, for fast food orders and deliveries, or at airports, gas stations and convenience stores. Instead, use a credit card that is NOT tied to your checking or savings account.
For all debit/credit card transactions, do your best to protect your card information. Cover the keypad with your hand every time you type in your PIN information, no matter where you are. A little caution can eliminate a lot of headaches. Remember that practicing consumer crime prevention tips along with aggressive and thorough police work will put credit card skimmers out of business for good. For any further questions or assistance telephone Newport News Police Economic Crimes Unit at 757-928-4200.