Summer is a season when “skimmers” seem to be more prevalent. Skimmers are illegal card reader devices which can be attached to merchant or ATM card terminals that provide cash/payment options. These card reader devices grab data from the magnetic stripe located on the back of your credit or debit card when it is inserted into the terminal. Once the stolen data is obtained by a criminal, it can be used to make purchases on your card or even be sold to other fraudsters for illegal activity.
Here are some steps to consider in avoiding this theft from your debt or credit card.
-Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly.
-Wiggle the card scanner located on the terminal or ATM and if it is loose, do not insert the card and move on.
-Some gas stations or convenience stores place tags or tabs on the pump to show that it’s secure. If the tab is broken, move on.
-Observe if all the card readers at gas pumps look the SAME. If any look unusual, avoid it.
-Use pumps in well-lit areas, within clear view of employees. Skimmers often use machines farthest away from viewers.
-Be alert to large vehicles that park in front of fuel dispensers for a long time. These are often used to block the view of the pump from employees while a skimmer is installed.
-If concerned, pay inside or go to a different gas station.
-Report your concerns to employees, law enforcement and/or file a complaint online.
-If you feel your card may be compromised, report it to your card issuer. For Paducah Bank cards please call 270.575.5700.