There is no denying that credit cards are very powerful tools. They allow people to pay for things online or in person without actually handing over cash. This helps make wallets lighter and slimmer. Unfortunately, they can be very easy to steal. Some criminals don’t even need to steal the card itself, just get the information from the card.
As the holiday season rolls around, people begin to make more purchases with their credit/debit cards. Sadly, this means thieves become more active as well. A tactic used by some thieves is to tamper with machines that accept credit and debit cards. They install card readers and cameras onto the machines in order to get the information they need to use the card themselves.
If this is something that you want to avoid happening to yourself this holiday season, then you need to learn to identify signs of tampering. Some things to look out for include:
- When going to use a machine, such as a gas pump, make sure that there are no signs of tampering. You should not be able to open up the machine. In fact, there should be a security seal over the hatch. If that seal is broken, notify the gas station or owner of the machine and use a different one.
- Check the card reader slot. If the slot feels lose, like it could be pulled off, notify the owner of the machine. A thieve could have placed their own card reader over the machine’s.
- Another thing to look for with the reader, is to make sure the device is tucked in under the rest of the machine. In other words, the machine would have to be opened to change the reader. If that is not the case, then a thief probably slipped a reader onto the machine.
Lastly, a person should keep an eye on their bank statements during the holiday season. This way if someone does have credit card information, it will be noticed quickly and the card can be replaced before too much damage is done.
Don’t let thieves have a good holiday season at your expense. Be careful of where you use your card and keep an eye on your bank statements this winter.