We have cautioned residents about a variety of scams but an article last week in the Banner-News highlighted a fraud that doesn’t send up familiar warning flags as others do.
Most by this time have heard repeated warnings about not sending money in response to telephone calls from folks we do not know, opening our computers to callers purporting to be from Microsoft and a variety of other crooked schemes seeking to separate us from our money.
But the scam described in an article about the arrest of three fraud suspects is a bit more difficult to spot because it doesn’t require any action on our part except using a credit or debit card to buy gasoline.
The suspects are accused of using a skimming device planted in at least one Columbia County pay-at-the-pump fueling station.
When the customer inserts a card to pay, the skimming device records the individual’s financial information which is then used to steal funds from ATM locations.
While the suspects, reportedly from Miami, Fla., were in Arkansas they allegedly skimmed information from more than 1,000 cards in several counties.
As we said, would-be victims are likely not as prepared to avoid this type of fraud because it does not involve contact by the perpetrators. All we need to do is unwittingly insert a card into a skimmer device on a gas pump.
So, keep a sharp eye out when using credit or debit cards at gas pumps or any other device. If the device looks at all suspicious, do not use it and report it to the business operators.