Take These Two Extra Steps Before You Swipe Your Card To Prevent Your Bank Account From Being Drained

There are two extra steps you can take before inserting your credit or debit card into a terminal at the gas pump or at the ATM that could save you from having criminals drain your bank account.

  1. You can pull out your phone, which might alert you to the presence of a skimmer. (As a reminder, a skimmer records data stored in the magnetic stripe of payment cards, which thieves can then use to make duplicate cards.) Many skimmers now use Bluetooth technology to transmit the card numbers they’re stealing so that criminals don’t have to return to the scene to pick up the device. Open the Bluetooth settings on your phone and see if any devices with names that appear as a long string of numbers show up. If it does, pick another ATM or gas station.
  2. Pull on the plastic piece where you insert your card and make sure it’s not loose or shoddily attached, which would indicate a skimming device could be present, according to Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Sid Miller, who recently released a video of tips about how to combat identity theft at the pump. If it is loose, don’t use the terminal. Instead, be sure and notify the attendant or, if you happen to be at an ATM, find another one that’s not suspect.

This story by KSAT, an ABC affiliate in Texas, details some other tips Miller shared in hopes of combating identity theft at the pump,  which we’ve included along with some of our own.

  • Always chose a pump that’s within view of the attendant and as close to the station as possible. It’s easier for criminals to tamper with the outlying pumps near the street.
  • Always cover the pad as you type in your pin in case there is a skimmer as thieves also install tiny cameras that record the keypad as you type in your pin.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card when paying for gas, that way if your card is compromised, the thieves can’t drain your bank account.

Identity theft encompasses way more than credit card fraud. For a look at some of the most common types of identity theft, check out our blog 7 Types of Identity Theft, Including One That Could Leave You In Jail.  The bottom line is millions of Americans have their identities stolen every year, and they don’t know how to fix it.

We do know how to fix it, and our team of experts has a 100% success rate in reversing the damage.

If you’re a LibertyID subscriber and your identity is stolen, we will fix it. There’s no limit to the time or money we will spend restoring your identity to pre-event status.

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