Detectives reporting spike in illegal credit card skimming

Detectives reporting spike in illegal credit card skimming

CAMARILLO, Calif. - The Ventura County Sheriff's Office is putting out a warning after getting 65 credit card skimming cases since the beginning of May.

Skimmers are devices attached to places in which a credit or bank card is inserted or swiped.  They basically take information from the card. Investigators say thieves can get access to the machines with stolen keys and place the skimmers inside, but they don’t have to necessarily come back to get them. Many crooks have moved on to using Bluetooth technology to transmit information from the pump to a laptop hidden in a nearby car.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s department is reminding the community to be carefully whenever using their credit or debit cards for gas or to withdraw money from ATM devices.  The majority of the recent credit card skimming cases were reported in Camarillo.

Here are some tips they gave:

Whenever you use a remote pay device or an ATM, always check the device for signs of tampering. If something looks odd about the device, don’t use it. Assume someone is watching you when you are entering your PIN and cover the keypad with your free hand when entering the numbers.

If you use a debit or credit card you should always closely monitor your accounts for unauthorized use. Always report unauthorized transactions to your financial institution. Obtain all the information about the illegal uses and report them to the police.

The Camarillo Police Department would like the community to know that we have an anti “skimmer” program in place and regularly check credit card devices throughout the city. If you notice something strange about a device you are using, contact us immediately at 654-9511.

The best way to prevent becoming a victim is to pay with cash or if you can go inside to pay with your credit card to pay.

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