Debit/Credit Card Skimming
Over the last couple of weeks, the Beaumont Police Department has responded to several incidents reporting debit/credit card skimming devices being located on ATM and/or payment terminals at businesses throughout the city (see photos). As criminals become more sophisticated these types of reports continue to increase.
We would like to remind our residents to be mindful of this type of crime. The devices are electronic and can either scan cards as they are entered into the terminals, or some also have tiny cameras that are able to pick up information off the card as it is entered. In a couple of cases, we have even determined the devices are communicating with the crooks in real time through Bluetooth capabilities.
These types of crimes are often very sophisticated and are part of large criminal networks that make it difficult for officers to solve and prosecute. Many times, banks reimburse victims for fraudulent charges, but the losses to businesses and financial institutions can add up to hundreds of millions of dollars. A few tips to protect yourself include:
– Carefully inspecting ATM and debit/credit card terminals for any signs of tampering. Report to the business immediately,
– Paying for items and services inside of businesses verses using outside payment kiosks,
– Regularly checking your banking and credit card accounts for fraudulent activity and utilizing your banking or credit card fraud alert programs or services to assist in securing your accounts.
*The photos depict actual skimming devices located during these incidents.