Investigators believe that a “skimming” device is being used to capture credit/debit account information at Points Of Sales (POS) such as retail stores, gas stations or fast food restaurants.
“Skimming” is the act of capturing your credit/debit information with a small magnetic card reader at a POS. The information is then downloaded from the device and sold, typically over the Internet. In some cases, it may take several days before your information is sold and fraudulently used, so account monitoring is very important.
Investigators are working with federal agencies to help locate the perpetrators. Until they are located, Yadkinville Police offers several tips to help prevent being a victim of “Skimming.”
• Report suspicious account activity to your bank immediately.
• Report suspicious cashier/transactions activity to your bank immediately like having to swipe card multiple times, card machine “problems,” or a cashier steps away with your card.
• Make sure your debit card stays in your sight. Your debit card is like cash. Treat it like valuable cash, not like plastic. Don't allow retailers or restaurants, bars or gas stations walk off with your debit card.
• AND NEVER give out your PIN number to anyone!!!
• Don't type in your PIN number at the gas pump. You should be able to use the credit card button even if you use your debit card at the gas station pump. The purchased gas amount will still be deducted from your bank account but is processed through a credit card network. It is a security measure that is wise to use when you pay at the pump.
• Use local Bank ATM's instead of ATMs at airports or isolated places. Scams are more likely to happen in dark, out of the way, low security, low surveillance camera areas. However, this is not always the case as some skimming scams have occurred at reputable banks without their knowledge by thieves.
• Know your bank statement. Don't assume. Check your bank statements often. Always monitor your bank accounts. Monitoring your bank and credit statements online is the most effective way to quickly catch something fishy. Know every penny you have and where it is going. Report suspicious activity immediately. Never think, "It'll never happen to me." Credit card and debit card fraud is not a rare occurrence!
• Do not discard un-shredded bank statements and credit card information in paper recycling bins. Always shred your important information to avoid identity theft. Home shredders are very inexpensive. Old important bank info or card info can also be burned. Make sure you are not going to need it before you destroy it!
• You can protect yourself further by requesting credit card bureaus monitor your accounts for unusual spending patterns and require them to notify you before a new credit card can be issued in your name. It may be a good investment for those who travel often or spend lots of time buying and dining out, using their cards frequently.
This information was provided by the Yadkinville Police Department.
To report any possible fraudulent activity, call 336-679-2863 or 336-679-4217