How You Can Avoid Falling Victim to Credit Card Fraud
PALM DESERT--Just a couple of days ago police arrested two men for putting credit card skimming devices on ATM's at a Chase Bank in Rancho Mirage.
Those skimming schemes can happen to anyone. KMIR 6 even fell victim to gas card fraud.
From gas pumps to ATM's our electronic fingerprints are all over the place and can easily be stolen with just the swipe of a card.
"I guess you've got to thank technology. If there's a way to do it, someone will come up with it," valley resident Kip Dishman said.
The Riverside County Sheriffs Department is on the case. They've dentified several different types pf phishing devices all with the same objective.
"Credit card skimming is a device that is used by suspects to steal the information from your credit card or debit card. Then that information is imputed into a blank credit card," Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Angel Ramos said.
These mechanisms range from illegal hidden cameras on ATM's, to swiping devices that fit right over a banks key card security access strip. Police have even found blue tooth devices attached inside gas pumps. The information is taken from your card and then sent to a nearby cell phone.
To keep you and your information safe it's important to always cover up the key pad when you enter your pin at the ATM or your zip code at a gas pump.
"Sign up for instant alerts with your bank. Every time that you use your ATM or your credit card you get instant text messages to your cell phone. If by chance you start getting information that you've had transactions that you didn't make, report it to your bank immediately and call authorities," Sheriff's Deputy Ramos said.
Officials also say to check your surroundings before entering your zip code at the gas station. Crooks have been known to keep eyes on the pumps and steal that information too.
"I was kind of surprised. I had heard about people in restaurants, waiters and waitresses, but I didn't know they have the capability to do it at an ATM," said Palm Deset resident Stephen Guziejka.
Bottom line, be careful. If something looks fishy or out of place, don't swipe your card.
If you suspect you've been a victim of credit card fraud contact police.