Shoppers beware! While you’re looking for gifts, criminals will be on the prowl for your banking information.
Credit card “skimming” — the use of electronic gadgets to steal credit and debit card information — is not new in South Florida, but it’s on the rise, especially around the holidays, said U.S. Secret Service agent James Porter in Miami. Porter specializes in electronic crimes. Read the full article at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-skimming-credit-card-threat-20111218,0,4121985.story
More than 3 million people have been victims of skimming at ATMs, losing an average of $1,000 per person, according to the ADT Security Services website. The company manufactures anti-skimming devices.
“South Florida is one of the top areas for this kind of fraud, for obvious reasons,” Porter said. “We’re a tourism hot spot. Where there’s a lot of economic activity, there’s fraudulent activity.”
Electronic devices that take, or “skim,” card numbers can be placed inside automated teller machines, gas station pumps, at check-out stations in stores or carried by hand to swipe cards.
If you have suffered the effects of identity theft, remember you’re not alone. Of the 1.3 million consumer complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2009, identity theft was the most reported offense with more than twice the complaints of the next highest category: third party and creditor debt collection. Consumers lost over 1.7 billion dollars in 2009 due to identity theft.1
1from the 2009 Consumer Sentinel Network online database storing complaints received by the FTC
Having an identity theft attorney working for you can be a huge help. You don’t have to fight this alone.