Summer travel & credit card fraud: What's the risk? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Summer travel & credit card fraud: What's the risk?

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
(Source: FBI) (Source: FBI)
(Source: IDOT) (Source: IDOT)
(Source: IDOT) (Source: IDOT)

Representatives with the Attorney General’s office in Illinois are warning residents to watch out for credit card skimmers as the summer’s travel season kicks off.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, traffic for the month of July is higher than any other month out of the year, and especially high on Fridays.

A spokeswoman with the Department of Agriculture said that a Chicago-land quality insurance inspector found a skimming device on a gas pump in early June.

The problem is a recurring one, according to the Attorney General’s office.

In recent years, the office has received as many as 3,200 identity theft complaints.

Chicago-land skimmer Anguel Marinkov was arrested in 2012, charged with a class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

The next year, a team of six skimmers were also arrested for stealing more than $200,000 from at least 175 credit cards.

“I think about it every day," Williamson County resident Michelle Garnett said. “With the economy being so bad, everyone’s on a budget. I’m already budgeting for food and gas, so for someone to get all my information and use it to their advantage, that kind of sucks for me and my children.”

The FBI has the following recommendations for travelers on how to avoid getting "skimmed"

- Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it…be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive/tape residue.

- When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.

- If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers). 

- Be careful of ATMs in tourist areas…they are a popular target of skimmers.

- If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel,” immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card

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