Credit card theft can happen to anyone. After an Alabama woman recently checked her credit card statement, she realized that it had happened to her. However, local police are using surveillance footage to help them find the suspects. Not only that, but now they know how the suspects may have committed the crime to begin with.
According to FOX 10, the suspects may have used the card numbers to purchase several WalMart gift cards that were worth hundreds of dollars. The last time the woman had used her card was at a gas station, which just so happens to be one of the most common places for credit card thieves to use skimmer devices.
Thieves often use gas pumps to steal credit card information. Skimmers often look exactly like credit card readers. They take the information that is on a magnetic stripe card and store it for later use. Thieves also place cameras nearby to catch PIN numbers.
Gas pump and ATM skimmers are becoming an apparent problem in the U.S., especially since thieves find ways to improve the authenticity of their devices. Krebs on Security reported that in just 2008, $1 billion was lost to ATM fraud. Skimmers accounted for over 80 percent of the losses.
The truth is that skimming has become a problem overseas as well. However, Europe is not as vulnerable due to their shift to EMV cards, opposed to magnetic stripe cards.
With the U.S. switch to EMV cards, banks can work towards reducing fraud related schemes like skimming. Also, with a little bit of help from police and security cameras, hopefully the Alabama skimming thieves will be brought to justice.