Sherri Bevan Walsh - Prosecuting Attorney
County of Summit
May 20, 2016
Credit Card "skimmer" scams have been hitting this area hard. You may have filled up at your local gas station without noticing a thing, but scammers may have attached a skimmer to the card reader. These devices 'skim' your card's information off the magnetic strip. Once the card is run through the skimmer, the data is recorded, the crooks can sell the information on the internet, at which point counterfeit cards are made. The criminals go on spending sprees with a cloned copy of the credit or debit card.
Oftentimes, the crooks have also set up a camera nearby. The camera captures the user typing their card PIN into an ATM machine. With your PIN and skimmed information, scammers can access and withdraw money from your account.
To protect yourself from an ATM skimmer:
* Use ATM's at banks whenever possible, rather than standalone machines;
* Protect your PIN. Place your hand over the keypad when entering your number;
* Look for signs of skimmers. Tape is often used to attach skimming devices; if something looks odd, wiggle it to make sure it doesn't come loose;
* Don't accept "help" from someone other than a bank employee to use teh ATM machine, decline and leave;
* Be cautious of ATM failures;
* Report any problems. Only call a number you know is real, such as the one on the back of your card. Don't call a number posted next to the ATM as it could be part of the scam.
If you have been a victim of credit card skimming contact your local authorities and file a police report. Contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately and tell them your card data has been stolen. If you report quickly, federal law caps your liability at $50.
Sherri Bevan Walsh