NASHVILLE, TN (WKRN) – It is peak season for credit card skimming.
“It’s early to get dark, stays dark a lot longer, and there is a lot more people out driving, shopping, spending… perfect scenario for the credit card thief that wants to install a skimmer and get a lot of traffic,” said Kathleen Calligan with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Calligan says a con artist can install a card skimming device on ATMs and fuel pumps in only a matter of minutes.
“It is a huge crime, and until it’s discovered, it can collect a lot of information that goes to creating fraudulent cards. That goes to creating identity theft. It just goes on and on,” she explained.
Prevention is the first step you can take to keep from becoming a victim.
If you are going to use a machine, the BBB says to be alert. If your card has a hard time going inside the card reader, that is a red flag
You also want to check and see if the reader is loose.
“Do what you can to dislodge it and alert someone,” Calligan told NBC4’s sister station WKRN.
The BBB says many of the thieves don’t use your card information, but sell it to a network.
Regions Bank has also seen an uptick in card skimming victims.
Rich Glasgow, area security manager for Regions corporate security, suggests using gas pumps closer to the store front and to cover the keypad when you type in your code.
“If the key pad looks a little unusual, they have a device called a key pad layover that can be placed over the actual keypads, that’s something to look for, and also look around on the ATM for any device that may look like a camera,” said Glasgow.
He also advises checking your bank statements daily.
Regions has installed anti-skimming technology on their ATMs.
“It alerts us that something is being placed on our machine and therefore it gives us an instant, literally almost within minutes, we know if a device has been put on our machine and we respond to those and we notify law enforcement and an investigation begins,” Glasgow explained.
Victims should also alert police, the BBB, and their financial institution if they encounter anything.