Think Twice Before Swiping

“I just couldn’t really fathom it at first. I couldn’t imagine it was happening, and then after I talked to my parents and saw the repercussions I had to go through… I was kind of annoyed,” said Tess Rock, a senior at the University of Georgia.

Tess Rock, still doesn’t know how her credit card information wound up in the hands of a stranger.

But according to Diann Moorman, a personal finance professor at UGA, it could have been because of a credit card skimmer.

“It basically goes over the top of the legitimate card reader that’s on there when you put your credit or debit card in. It goes right over the top. The savvy consumer might not even realize that it’s on there,” explained Moorman.

This past summer, credit card skimmers were found at two local convenience stores here in Athens.

“Legitimately, consumers do have a reason to have it. You can order the things online and use them against consumers instead of using them proactively for your business,” said Moorman.

To avoid this credit card scam here’s what you do:

1) Be familiar with what the machines look like.

2) Go to the same gas pump or outdoor ATM

After you do these things, you will be able to notice if there’s something strange or different about the machine. If you do find something odd immediately go to the manager or owner of where you are and ask what’s wrong or why it has changed.

So the next time you get a movie from Redbox, cash from an outdoor ATM, or even pump gas at a local gas station…you now know what to look for.

Writer: Samantha German

 

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