Watching out for card skimming scam

A swipe of your credit or debit card could be all it takes for scammers to take your information.

It’s called “card skimming” – and could cost you money and ruin your credit rating.

We take a look at how scammers are trying to get your account numbers and pin codes.

One transaction – is all it can take to put your financial info, into someone else’s hands.

“A couple friends were taken by it.. and there was a device….was pushed in and extended out,” Brenda Price said.

The scam is known as “card skimming.”

From ATM’s to gas pumps…it can happen anywhere you swipe your plastic.

“It’s going to depend on the device…some of them are magnetic if they are stuck on.  It may just look bigger than normal.  Some of them, if they are taping them on..they probably would want to use maybe some black tape to blend in or grey tape…but it’s going to be taped on,” Topeka Police Department Lt. Joe Perry said.

Topeka Police have not seen any cases here so far but they say it’s something that’s happening in bigger cities.

A quick check online for “card skimmers”  turns up thousands of different devices.

“Some of them, soon as your card swipes it automatically transmits to whomever put it on there wirelessly. Others, they have to come back and remove it and maybe it’s on an SD card and they have to take it off,” Perry said.

And once scammers have your info – they can start using it to make purchases…even get other credit cards in your name.

Police say if something looks strange…

“Go in and ask. I mean, I know it is there for convenience…and you want to get in and out of there real fast but it takes a whole lot longer when you are trying to repair your credit history,” Perry said.

A simple check…to keep your identity safe.

Topeka Police say if you notice any fraudulent charges – contact your credit card or banking institution immediately.

Especially heading into summer vacation season – police warn tourist areas are more prone to scammers.

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