LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Police departments in Lower Pottsgrove and Limerick townships, now jointly investigating a series of debit card-skimming crimes, say they’re actively educating local merchants on ways to prevent or identify skimming.
More than half of all American adults have had personal information hacked by scammers, according to an August 2017 article published by MyBankTracker.com. “It’s now more important than ever to check all of your bank statements, credit card statements and to review your credit report every quarter,” it advised.
Police Chiefs Michael Foltz and R. Brian Skelton, respectively, also are offering consumers these tips and precautions:
- When using your credit and debit cards, avoid automated teller machines in unsecure locations, which have an easier potential of being compromised.
- Inspect a card terminal before using it. If the terminal appears different than other terminals or seems like it may have been tampered with, walk away. Find another ATM elsewhere.
- If possible, use chip card readers rather than the magnetic strip readers. This method is less likely to result in a compromise of your card.
Other financial experts also suggest:
- Those trying to identify if their cards were subject to the skimming attacks now being investigated, or any others, should start by examining and reconciling their card account statements “to ensure there isn’t any suspicious activity,” MyBankTracker suggested.
- Look at longer time periods, and don’t focus on a single day, or even a single week, it added. “Thieves are sneaky. They will use your card information to steal smaller amounts from your account, anywhere from $10 to $50 worth of transactions a week, because they are hoping victims won’t notice.”
- “Report any unauthorized activity to your bank immediately, or you may be liable for old charges on your account,” MyBankTracker warned. Also call the police and notify them of your suspicions, as the Lower Pottsgrove and Limerick departments have requested. Finally, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro urges you to notify his office by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several Pennsylvania financial and law enforcement agencies have announced, also during August, they are stepping up efforts against card skimming crime. Read about it here.
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