The Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection in New York issued a warning during Identity Theft Awareness Week regarding credit and debit card skimming scams. Scammers place hidden skimming devices at ATMs, gas station pumps, and other payment terminals to steal card information. According to the FBI, skimming costs financial institutions and consumers over $1 billion annually.
Acting New York State Police Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli urged New Yorkers to be vigilant in safeguarding their identities, while New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection, encouraged them to stay informed and pay attention for signs of tampering when using card reading machines.
To help spot a potential skimming scam, the Division of Consumer Protection provided the following tips: -Inspect the card reading machine for any overlay device and check for abnormal bulkiness, residues, or differences in color, material, or shape. -Check the keypad and avoid using it if the buttons look or feel different. -Choose ATMs located inside banks or indoor locations over those on the street. -Look for hidden cameras and shield the PIN pad when entering a PIN number. -Review bank and credit card statements regularly for unauthorized charges.
Consumers can also reach the Consumer Assistance Helpline (1-800-697-1220) Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State Holidays, and file complaints at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
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