Oct 15, 2009 6:49 AM by John Romero
A recent rash of credit and debit card thefts in Colorado Springs has police looking for answers.
"Anyone who has a credit card, debit card or even a checking account could potentially be a victim." says Detective Josh Bliss with CSPD's Financial Crimes Unit.
There's a few ways a thief can get to your information. One of the most common police have seen recently is a merchant or server double swiping your card when you make a purchase. They swipe your card into the register and then into a device meant to store your information so they can look at it later. "They would also scan it again into a small skimming device which then at that time would capture that data." says Bliss.
Police and financial advisors tell us the key is to be observant. When you make a purchase it's ok to follow the person handling your card. "It may seem a little awkward or odd or the server may take offense to that but then again you're looking at your own financial information." explains Bliss. He says your best bet is to just politely let the server or cashier know you'd like to stay with your card wherever it goes. If it's behind a counter you can still watch as it's swiped even if you can't go behind the counter.
If you think you've been victimized, it's important to call your card company first before more fraudulent charges pile up. "Obviously the first reaction is to call police." adds Bliss, "But in this circumstance we're actually asking them to contact the financial institution first. That way the person can take care of their own financial security first."