Investigators urge public to look out for credit card skimmers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Investigators urge public to look out for credit card skimmers

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) –If you have a credit card, beware high-tech credit card skimmers are looking to rip you off.

Investigators think someone may have put skimming equipment on A-T-M'S and gas pumps in the Tifton area to steal credit card numbers.

Investigators in the city and the county are working together investigating several instances, where individuals use their cards in Tifton and then discover someone in California or Las Vegas also used their account information, stealing hundreds of dollars.

They're lightweight, easy to carry and all it takes is just one quick swipe to make a purchase. "I don't like to carry a cash anymore its just not safe so using a debit card just makes more sense," said Richard Donnelly.

But investigators say that swipe can also put your personal information in the hands of a criminal. "It looks just like the face of a regular gas pump, regular ATM so you go up there you slide your card in when you slide it in, it gets all your information," said Detective Len Moore, Tifton Police Department.

Its called Credit Card Skimming and investigators say the phenomenon has made its way to Tifton. "Its just a matter of going up there popping it on and leaving and coming back later and retrieving it," said Moore.

Investigators say thieves install these devices on ATM'S and gas pumps to steal the account information on the magnetic strips. "They are very hard to detect unless you are looking for them because they are made that small and made to look like a face of a ATM or Gas Pump,"  said Moore.

And its something relatively new for investigators in Tifton. Most recently they city is investigating two cases, where individuals discovered someone in Las Vegas had stolen hundreds of dollars from their account.

"From the way these skimmers look they fit right on to the face, so if a skimmer is on there you should be able to pull it right off you might want to go up there and jiggle it around," said Moore.

Which is something Richard Donnelly says he does every time he pulls up to the pump.

Which investigators say may be necessary to prevent your information from getting into the wrong hands.

Investigators say the only sure fire way to prevent something like this from happening is to become familiar with these skimming devices by going to a search engine and looking at examples. The only other way to prevent this from happening..is if you just use cash.

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