woman using an ATM

When you go to a store or ATM, you may not think twice before inserting your card into the reader and going about your day. However, when checking your credit card statement, you may be shocked to discover charges you never made. Since you didn’t lose your card, you may be unsure how these charges transpired. Unfortunately, you may be a victim of credit card skimming. If you’re unsure what this is or what to do if you’re a victim, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll also learn what to look for to avoid this and how a San Diego County ATM fraud lawyer can assist you.

What Is Skimming?

When someone intends to steal the card information of other unsuspecting consumers, they can create devices that skim or steal the information of a card. Most commonly, these impact  ATMs, gas station pumps, and point-of-sale terminals at businesses. When you insert the card, the device attached to the terminal will take the card information. As a result, you may be the victim of unauthorized purchases and identity theft, as someone with access to this information can use your card information against you.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent This?

If you are worried about becoming a victim of credit card skimming, you should choose the safest method possible when making a payment. For example, if you can avoid inserting your card into a reader by tapping it instead, you should opt for that method. If not, inserting it for a chip read is safer than swiping, but credit card shimming can take data from a chip.

Also, if the card reader looks different or bulky, compare it to another one nearby. If it looks different, like the key numbers varying in color or size, one may be outfitted with a skimmer.

Finally, if you have concerns about the security or validity of a card reader, you should avoid using it. Additionally, using a credit card is safer than a debit card, as when you use debit, the money is taken directly from your checking account.

What Should I Do if I’m a Victim of Credit Card Skimming?

If you are a victim of credit card skimming, it may take time to realize something is wrong, as it may not be brought to your attention until you receive your statement. As soon as you discover unauthorized charges, you should inform your financial institution of the theft and dispute the charges. It’s crucial to stay on top of this information, as the sooner you report the skimming, the easier it is to prove these charges were unauthorized.

You should also request a new credit card to prevent being responsible for any additional charges that arise because of the theft.

At Barthel Legal, we understand how upsetting it can be to discover that you are a victim of credit card skimming. As such, our dedicated team will do everything possible to assist you during these challenging times. Our team will work with you to help fight so you are not liable for the unauthorized charges on your account. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.