Indianapolis News and Headlines


Credit card skimming is a growing concern

Posted at 12:07 AM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 00:07:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Credit card skimming has probably happened to you or someone you know. 

It's a crime committed across Central Indiana daily, and the victim's don't know what's taking place. 

A credit card used to pay for gas is quietly harvested for personal information by devices called skimmers placed by thieves inside of gas station pumps. Devices that have gone from crude to high tech. 

"They're now creating Bluetooth activated skimmers so that the criminal doesn't even need to get out of a vehicle. They just drive up to the gas pump and download all of the customer data onto their device using Bluetooth," Detective Dean Mucha with the Fishers Police Department said. 

Police in Fishers, Indianapolis, Greenwood, Plainfield, Avon, Brownsburg and Carmel have all had cases of skimming that have resulted in arrests, often committed by organized skimming rings.

And while gas stations are common targets, they're not alone. 

Police say that credit card skimming by employees is also a big problem. Handing over your credit card to a server who then clones it before you pay.

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Restaurant chains like the Olive Garden and Chili's are rolling out pay-at-your-table, using tablets as a convenience to customers with the added security benefit. 

 "Card skimming is real big in restaurants. A lot of restaurants are switching to pay-at-the-table and that's probably a good thing. I don't know why we'd give our credit cards to a stranger and let them disappear with it," Mucha said. 

Fraud, once committed mostly at ATMs, has branched out with thieves trying to stay ahead of the law and using technology to take your money. 

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Apart from paying for your gas inside instead of at the pump or using cash to pay at a restaurant, experts say not much, except for monitoring your purchases and reporting any unauthorized transactions.

And while new credit cards have a security chip embedded, lots of stories have not moved to that technology yet. 


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