Today the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department announced the arrest of two suspects believed to be involved with a card-skimming scheme that took place in April throughout the Sacramento region.
Over the course of a three-day period, approximately 450 debit and credit card numbers were stolen and $20,000 withdrawn from victims.
High definition cameras were placed above the key pads of ATMs underneath a cover in order to record the customers’ PIN. With stolen account numbers and PINs, criminals were then able to access the victims’ account and unlawfully withdraw funds.
According to the release, detectives believe the two suspects may be part of a larger organized crime group.
To avoid card-skimming, Better Business Bureau offers the following tips:
- Pay with a credit card or cash when possible. Paying with a credit card instead of a debit card may protect you. In the event of a fraudulent charge on your credit card, you can dispute the transaction with your financial institution. But if criminals gain your debit information, they may be able to drain your account.
- Protect your PIN. Cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN. If the machine seems suspicious, cancel the transaction and alert your bank immediately.
- Use chip readers or ‘tap and go’ features when possible. Using a chip reader, rather than the magnetic stripe, is more secure. You can also use tap and go features, such as Apple pay, instead of inserting or swiping your card.
- Report fraud. Click here to learn more about how to avoid identity theft and report scams to bbb.org/scamtracker.