Skimming crimes are a type of credit card theft crime. Skimming occurs when the victim uses their credit card on a swiping device. Here, the theft happens when the scanning or swiping device is altered to reroute the credit card information to another computer or device, which is controlled by the thief. From there, the culprit may use the information to access the person’s credit.
In some cases, the skimming can be accomplished through a device that is attached to the scanner and records the information. Or, an employee may simply swipe the card onto their own personal scanner that is hidden from sight. Skimming can also involve debit card theft as well.
Most credit card transactions are fairly quick and are over without any complications. If you notice anything suspicious about a credit card purchase, it could be an indication that there is skimming going on. You should look out for:
- Any alterations or modifications to a credit card scanner machine, such as extra plastic or material where the machine reads the card’s magnetic strip
- Whether the machine keeps delaying or pausing during the transaction
- Whether the machine asks you to repeat the swiping process multiple times
If an employee is handling the card, you should be wary if the employee takes the card out of your sight for prolonged periods of time, or if they swipe the card in more than one machine. Employees are not allowed to retain your card permanently, and they cannot set it aside or destroy it. Skimming can sometimes lead to identity theft, so don’t disclose any information if you’re unsure of the situation.
Skimming crimes should be reported to authorities as soon as they are discovered. You may want to alert the police if you feel that an institution or a business has been skimming credit cards. You can also contact a local business bureau for more investigation or advice.
Additionally, you should report any incidents to your bank as soon as you discover any skimming activity. You should always monitor your account activity to ensure that your numbers are adding up. Lastly, it may be necessary to speak with a lawyer, especially if you are going to be called into court. In some cases, skimming crimes can result in both criminal consequences as well as civil damages for losses caused by the theft.
Skimming thefts can affect large numbers of people. They can sometimes happen for a period of time before they are finally reported. You may wish to hire a criminal lawyer in your area if you have any concerns or issues involving skimming of credit or debit cards. Your attorney can inform you of the criminal laws in your state, and can help you file a case if needed. Also, your lawyer can be on hand if you need representation in a court of law.