Small Skimming Devices Make It Easy For Thieves To Steal Your Credit Card Information

11:14 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-- If thieves want your information, they'll find ways to get it.

For some, it's old-school pick-pocketing, but for others it's more high-tech -- like those who use skimming devices.

On e-bay, a simple "credit card reader" search will bring you more than 6,000 endless possibilities. There are products of all shapes and sizes. These devices are great for honest small business owners. But crooks are buying them and putting them on ATM machines or anywhere you swipe your card.

"It's off to the races then. They have access to your entire account and they can drain you out in no time," said Detective D.A. Smith, who specializes in fraud and financial crimes at the Greensboro Police Department.

The skimmer machines are not obvious to the eye, but people should check out the machine before just swiping.

"I like to kind of give it a jiggle, see if it's loose, look around the edges. Sometimes they'll use double-sided tape, some type of glue or adhesive," added Smith.

The thieves are smart too. Along with the skimming machine, they install cameras to record you as you type in your pin number.

The crime doesn't stop with just ATM machines.

"We're seeing it more at restaurants. So you go to the restaurants, you sit down, you get your bill after your meal, you give your credit card, the waiter or waitress will walk off with your card and you can't see him," Smith warns.

The new trend is waiters using small skimmers when they take your card away from the table when you pay.

Detective Smith advises you never let your card leave your sight. You should also check your bank balance regularly so you know right away when something isn't right. And even if there's no one around, you should cover the keypad when typing in your pin in case a camera is hovering overhead.

Greensboro police said on average, they see about 10 to 12 skimming cases a year.

WFMY News 2, Greensboro Police Department

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