Posted on: September 19, 2017

CRIME PREVENTION TIP: How to Avoid Credit Card Skimmers

ATM Skimmer

The Creve Coeur Police Department recently investigated a case in which a skimming device was placed on a local bank ATM. A skimming device is an electronic data collection device used by criminals to obtain financial information from a debit or credit card. With this information, criminals are able to make a copy of the card and use it for unauthorized charges.

To help protect yourself from a skimming device, here are some tips on how to recognize these devices on ATMs and gas pumps:

  • Prior to using any card reader machine, inspect the area where you insert your card to verify no external devices have been affixed to the outside. Give the card reader a pull to ensure it does not come off.
  • If the card reader looks different from others or appears to be in need of service, don’t use it.
  • Inspect the key pad device to make sure it looks authentic. In some cases, criminals have placed fake key pads over the originals to capture your PIN number.
  • Conceal your PIN as you enter it. Thieves use hidden cameras to record a video of your PIN.
  • Check for security seals. Many ATMs and gas station pumps have these seals to let you know the machine has not been tampered with. If you find a broken seal, do not use the machine.
  • Be proactive in monitoring activity on your bank accounts. The faster you can identify fraudulent activity, the faster your financial institution can cancel your card. Consider enrolling in fraud alerts programs through your bank or third-party credit monitoring programs to help monitor your account activity.

For more information or tips on skimming devices, contact the Creve Coeur Police Department Crime Prevention Officer at crimeprevention@crevecoeurmo.gov or (314) 442-2075.

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