Credit card fraud continues to be a lucrative business for thieves all over the world.
Tactics used by fraudsters to get your credit card information continue to evolve as technology advances. Fraudsters often utilize gas pumps as locations to install card skimming equipment used to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting victims.
A recent traffic stop by an Indiana State Police Trooper on the Toll Road led to the discovery of card-skimming devices. On November 7, the trooper stopped a vehicle for a moving violation in Elkhart County. During the traffic stop, it was discovered that the vehicle had been stolen. Items suspected of being used for credit card skimming were in the vehicle as well as gift cards to load the stolen credit card information onto were also located. Both juvenile occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody. Evidence gathered by troopers suggests that this group has been active in northwest Indiana and locally.
Tactics used by fraudsters continually change but there are some tips you can use to keep yourself safe the next time you fill up your vehicle.
· Pay inside.
· Use tap-to-pay function. This keeps your card out of potential card-skimming devices.
· Use a credit card instead of a debit card. This keeps your funds safe if compromised since a debit card is linked directly to your bank account.
· Cover the keypad when entering your zip code or PIN. Fraudsters often use a pinhole camera to capture this information.
· Check the reader and keypad for overlays that capture your card information.
· Look to see that the security tape is not broken on the pump in the area of the card reader, suggesting skimming equipment may be inside the machine.
The Indiana State Police suggest you regularly monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and report anything suspicious to your bank and to law enforcement. Fraud is a lucrative business. Each of us can take steps to make it harder for fraudsters to make a living.