Threat of credit card ‘skimming’ rises during holidays

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.

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4 Responses to Threat of credit card ‘skimming’ rises during holidays

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    • Santoso says:

      I would go to either your local bank or ciredt union to see if you qualify for one of their cards. If not then I would see if you could have a secured card. With a secured card you put money into a savings account and the lender uses that as collateral. You still pay each month just like a regular ciredt card. It is one way to build your ciredt. Some secured cards can be obtained with as little as $300-500. Payments are reported to the ciredt bureau just like an unsecured ciredt card. It is very easy to get into trouble with ciredt cards. You don’t need to charge much to build ciredt. Just a small purchase each month where you can pay it off when the bill comes would be best. It helps your score when you don’t use up most of your ciredt.

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  3. Yasuo says:

    I recently went through this. The most important thing is to check your credit report. Dispute things that are false, or out of date, or that belong to someone else. I found that a lot of things on my credit report were out of date. But make sure you check all three bureaus because all three can have different information.The secured Visa or Mastercard is a good thing too. But beware of those with large annual fees. Bank of America has a good one with an annual fee of only $18 others I’ve seen are upwards of $50 plus monthly fees and startup fees.Also, remember, pay all your bills on time, even if it’s just the minimums and it will take time, but you can do it.