ROSWELL N.M. (KRQE) – One New Mexico police department is asking people to be on the lookout when they swipe their credit and debit cards. They think card skimmers may be popping up around town.
Ronnell James was just trying to pull out some quick cash on his way out of town when he used an ATM at a gas station but it ended up costing him a lot more than just that annoying $3 fee.
“I was checking my bank account which I do regularly, there were multiple charges totaling the sum of $489.79,” said James.
Roswell police say they’ve seen an increase in fraud involving credit and debit card information. They believe it may be a result of skimmer devices which crooks attach to the slot in an ATM where you swipe your card. They use them to collect your card info and pin number.
“Come to find out those charges which the charges we thought were originated from Canada in fact were originated from the Republic of China,” said James
Police say the most common place that skimming devices are used are on gas pumps. They advise people to choose the pumps facing the clerks. They want anyone who spots any suspicious activity or skimmers to call it in.
As for James, he has already gotten most of his money back, now he’s more careful.
“Always protect your identity. I thought I was doing that, like I said I was headed out of town, used an ATM in what I thought was a safe place,” said James.
Roswell police say they haven’t found any skimmers yet. They say one way to tell if a card reader may be compromised on the inside is if the security seal on the gas pump is broken.
Thieves will leave those skimmers in place for weeks then collect them and load all account info onto fraudulent cards. They also have skimmers that transmit the info via Bluetooth.