"Skimming" suspected in $1,600 debit card fraud - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

"Skimming" suspected in $1,600 debit card fraud

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FISHERS -

Scam artists are going after your money, using your debit card and they don't even have to steal your purse to do it.

It's happening at ATM's all across the country.

Victims think they're just withdrawing money, but they're also giving a scam artist all the information they need to use the card like its their own.

It's all because of a little device most people don't spot when they swipe their card.

"You always hear that story of oh that's terrible that happened, but it won't happen to me and now its me," said Erin Fisher, who now tells a story of her own.

Fisher is out $1,600 she didn't know was missing until her credit union called this week about strange charges from her debit card.

"Three from Walmart, one from JC Penney, and I have no idea what they bought," said Fisher of the charges.

The mother of three knows the purchases were made online, and whatever was bought with her card was delivered to addresses in Indianapolis and in Miami, Oklahoma.

"How does this happen? How do they get my three digit code? How do they match up a name with a number in the back?" asks Fisher.

It's called skimming, and the Better Business Bureau of Indiana says it's been happening all across the country at ATM's or, for that matter, anyplace people use their card at a machine.

"It's a sophisticated system, definitely in terms of the devices that are being used to pull all this information," said Bill Thomas with the BBB.

The devices usually include a camera and some kind of card reader that can be attached to ATM machines.

"Its going to pick up the information necessary for that card to be used by the scammer for other transactions," explained Thomas.

Information intercepted can include the name on the card, the card number, the expiration date, the pin used, even the three digit code on the back.

"I can't think of anywhere that I think would be suspicious to use it," said Fisher, trying to figure out where someone could have picked up her information.

"I"m angry. I'm frustrated. Scared. Like to never use a card again," Fisher added.

She's hoping she can get her money back for the items she never bought.

"I won't know until I see that money back in my account and then, I don't know what I'm going to do," said Fisher when asked whether she'll close her account at some point.

She plans to watch closely, though, the next time she swipes her card, knowing you never know who else could be watching.

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