Des Plaines, IL – An unsettling discovery in Des Plaines has highlighted a growing concern: the prevalence of credit card skimming devices. The manager of Shop & Save, located at 518 Metropolitan Way, recently uncovered a skimming device attached to a credit card reader at a cash register on August 9th. This incident joins a series of alarming cases across Illinois.
In Plainfield, a skimming device was removed from an ATM at a PNC Bank branch in early July after a third-party maintenance contractor alerted the authorities.
The issue has even infiltrated government assistance programs. More than 2,800 people who shopped at the Dixon Walmart in Illinois between May and June fell victim to a skimming device that stole their Link card data, temporarily causing the cancellation of their SNAP benefits, as confirmed by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Chatham Police Department added to the tally with a report in March revealing the discovery of credit card skimmers within two gas pumps at a local Shell gas station.
Capital One underscores the gravity of credit card skimming, which costs financial institutions and consumers over $1 billion annually. Skimmers, often inconspicuously installed at gas pumps, ATMs, and retail outlets, silently steal sensitive financial information.
Protecting yourself demands vigilance:
- Regularly check card readers for irregularities, bulges, or misalignments.
- Physically inspect card readers for stability and proper installation.
- Verify gas pump security seals and be cautious of hidden cameras.
- Consider alternative payment methods like mobile apps or indoor payments.
- Use credit cards for added fraud protection.
In case your card falls victim, swiftly review your accounts and report any unauthorized activity to your bank or credit card issuer. Timely action is crucial to mitigating potential damage.
While credit and debit cards offer convenience, they are not impervious to skimming threats. Staying informed and cautious is your best defense against this pervasive issue. Utilize tools like your personal Bank app to monitor your accounts, ensuring your financial security.
By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risk of falling prey to credit card skimming and protect your hard-earned money.