In the coming days, many of us will be making returns or purchases and when you’re out visiting area shopping centers – be careful. “Skimming” technology can put your money at risk.
“Skimmers” are clever technology tools designed to steal your card information when you swipe at gas pumps, ATMs and more. They’ve been around a long time but are now more sophisticated than ever.
Karen Hudson was out running errands and after a trip to a local gas station, was out five hundred bucks. “When I noticed my account was overdrawn,” Hudson said, “I knew something was wrong… I’m never overdrawn.”
Modern electronic “skimmers” are attached to existing card readers and they’re often very thin, so you have to look closely to notice them.
“It’s a small device that can be opened, you can tell. It can wiggle. It’s something that the thief can put in, in a couple of minutes,” explained Marc Maun, CEO Bank of Oklahoma.
Hudson was lucky – able to recover her missing money. Her time however? That’s something she won’t get back after a “skimmer” scam, “I have all of my money back now so I didn’t actually lose anything but now I have to wait to get a new debit card.”
To protect yourself, make sure to check your bank account balances frequently and report any strange activity. Also, if you swipe a debit card in a public setting, use your hand to cover your pin number. “Skimmers” need that pin to fully compromise your information.