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Mason City, IA 50401


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Home Blog Be on the Look Out for Signs of Skimmers

Be on the Look Out for Signs of Skimmers

A credit card thief can get your card information by using a device called a Credit Card Skimmer. Skimmers are any number of devices made to be affixed to an ATM or a gas pump and secretly record credit and debit card information when customers slip their cards into or through the machines to pull out money or to pay for gas. The criminals later retrieve the devices that store your information and use or sell it to other criminals who use it, and your credit card is charged.

Here are some tips to protect yourself from this growing scam:

1. Inspect the ATM or gas pump you are using. Avoid using ATMs in poorly lit or low trafficked areas. Choose a bank ATM over stand-alone ATMs in public places. Look for new or suspiciously placed cameras and unusual signage. Check for scratching around the card slot, adhesive tape or glue residue, and if the device can be removed, you should alert bank staff, the gas station manager, or call the police immediately. 

2. Look for hidden cameras. Criminals may use a camera to obtain your PIN. Look for anything that may have a tiny hole or slot for a camera that is aimed at the keypad.

3. Protect your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand to protect your private information from any potential cameras in the vicinity. Periodically change your PIN.

4. Monitor your statements.  Even the most careful person can fall victim to skimmers. Keep a close eye out for suspicious charges on the itemized breakdown of your accounts. 

5. Report fraud immediately. Report any fraudulent activity as soon as you discover it. 

Want to learn more about how to protect your card data? Hear it straight from, Mike Burke, a veteran law enforcement professional with experience in criminal justice instruction, homeland security, and fraud investigation. Join us for Fraud Hot Topics on Wednesday, June 19 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM at The Pub at The Pinicon in New Hampton, Iowa. Hope to see you there!


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