Scam Alert: ATM Card Skimmers on Rise in Granite State
CONCORD, N.H. – AARP and state officials are alerting Granite Staters to an increase in card skimming devices that fraudsters use to steal personal information from the magnetic strip on credit or debit cards.
James Boffetti, chief of the New Hampshire Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, says an ATM's location can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding this scam.
"It's preferable if you can use an ATM that's inside of a building or a high traffic area, so that it would be more difficult for criminals to set up a skimming device so that they can collect your information," he explains.
Boffetti says consumers should be on the lookout for ATM covers that are loose. He suggests jiggling the card reader – if it moves, it could be a card skimmer.
AARP joined the New Hampshire Banking Department and the Department of Justice in issuing the consumer alert.
Boffetti says some skimming devices are only on an ATM for a short time and sometimes go undetected. That means that bank won't know to alert you, so the best thing to do is check your bank statements carefully.
He also suggests checking your credit report several times a year.
"If you go to any of the three free credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, you can get one free report from each of those a year,” he relates. “It's a good practice to get your credit history and see if there is anything in there that is odd or unusual. "
Victims of this scam can file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline.
There is more information available on this and other scams at the AARP Fraud Watch Network.