Spike in credit card skimmers a big concern for local residents

SBPD called out to investigate possible skimmer

Spike in credit card skimmers a big...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Police investigators looked into a tip about a possible ATM card skimmer found in the Mesa neighborhood.

Officers looked at the Wells Fargo ATM located between CVS and a coffee shop at the Shoreline Plaza and determined it was not a skimmer. However, this tip was a concern because there has been a spike in skimmers found in Santa Barbara County.

Earlier this week, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office asked the public for assistance in identifying ATM credit card skimmer suspects who implanted two devices at Rabobanks in Orcutt and Santa Maria.

Here are some tips from the Sheriff's Office on how to avoid becoming a victim of a skimming device:

  • Pull on the card reader, it should be intact and not loose.
  • Wiggle your card slightly as you are putting it in the machine.
  • Cover your keypad with your hand when you type in your PIN.
  • Use an ATM located inside a bank, grocery store or restaurant if possible.
  • Be especially cautious when using ATMs on the weekend when skimming devices are most prevalent.
  • If possible, avoid using your card’s magstripe and instead insert your card for its EMV chip to be read.
  • If something doesn’t feel right about an ATM machine or a credit card reader, don’t use it.
  • Report suspicious card readers to the bank/business and contact law enforcement right away.
  • Pay attention to your bank records to monitor your debit and credit card transactions.
  • Pay attention to phone calls from your bank alerting you to possible fraud detection.

Santa Barbara Police say it's important to report skimmers if users feel uneasy about the ATM's they use.

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