Protecting yourself against credit card skimmers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Protecting yourself against credit card skimmers

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Many of us use credit cards everyday. But as we've seen in recent massive security breaches, thieves have ways to charge your cards without them ever leaving your sight. Some have learned about card skimming the hard way.

Olivia Flowers was a card skimming victim and says"It was very disturbing, because you feel invaded."

Thieves used a device called a card skimmer to steal Olivia Flowers' credit card information, open new bank accounts and then go on a shopping spree.

U.S. Postal Inspector Paul Krenn says, "The devices now are really small, they can be held in your hand. And it can be done quite easily."

Olivia went shopping for a new car and got her first hints that someone skimmed her credit car.
Thieves destroyed her credit.

Olivia says, "He told me that my credit score was really low. And he told me, he actually gave me the printout."

Postal inspectors are warning credit and debit card skimming is on the rise, especially in fast food restaurants and gas stations, and it's profitable. In a bust in Puerto Rico postal inspectors seized weapons and big ticket items.

Olivia says, "There were $90-thousand worth of postal money orders which were purchased using the fraudulent debit cards."

Credit card companies know that skimmers are targeting their customers, but it's not always easy to reclaim your good name.

To avoid falling victim to credit card skimmers, always check your receipts after each purchase, and check your credit statement at the end of each billing cycle. If you notice unusual charges on your cards, notify your credit card company immediately.

Olivia says, "Because its my money, and I work hard for my money and I would be all over it. A few cents, they add up "

One of the easiest ways to make sure this doesn't happen to you, is to make sure your card stays in sight and never let anyone who has it get out of your sight.

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