Criminals are taking advantage of busy, summer months when to try and steal your hard earned cash.
According to Greg Mays, the assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Field Office in Nashville, 70 skimmers have been found in gas pumps, store checkouts and ATMs across Middle Tennessee so far this year.
Mays said one skimmer can hold up to 1,000 skimmed credit-card numbers that criminals can collect through Bluetooth technology.
“The scammer can stand [far] off, maybe 50-feet away, and download all the stolen information,” Mays said.
At ATMs, Mays said criminals can not only swipe your card information, but they can also install pinhole cameras to record your pin number.
You can prevent that by covering the pin pad with your hand when entering your secret pin.
“Pay attention to your surroundings and then constantly monitor your credit card statements,” Mays said.
Card skimmers are a yearly threat, but some criminals take advantage of the busy summer travel months.
“The idea is that, probably, there will be a statistical spike in the amount of gas pumping skimming,” Mays said.
The Secret Service oversees the Electronic Crimes Task Force. which works with other agencies to educate businesses on how to prevent skimmers as well as partnering with computer science and engineering departments at local universities to develop new techniques to combat these invasive cybercrimes.
“These partnerships work to keep us ahead of the curve and ahead of the bad guy, and on pace with helping to prevent cybercrime,” Mays said.
The Secret Service has arrested nearly 20 people in relation for credit-card skimming so far this year.
The best advice, they said, is to be vigilant. If something doesn’t look right, don't swipe.
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