Keeping your credit card safe from skimmers

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Credit card skimmers have been a problem in Michigan since last August, but the numbers seem to be going down.

Swiping your credit card at the pump — it’s something we all do, but it could cause you some problems.

That’s because of credit card skimmers.

I asked people, “Did you know about this?”

“No I didn’t,” said Demphna Krikorian.

“I don’t really know what’s going on in the machines, but it is a little scary,” said Paula Puleo.

People can put skimmers in these machines at the gas pump, and they can take personal information from your credit cards — with just one swipe.

Craig VanBuren of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development deals with credit card skimmers and says they’re sneaky.

“The unfortunate thing of these is the consumer never sees the device, there’s no way for the consumer to know anything is happening. The transaction happens as normal,” VanBuren said.

VanBuren says Michigan is one of the states most hit by skimmers — with more than 30 found since last August.

“Towards the end of summer, beginning of fall last year, we were finding one or two a week, and now we’re finding maybe one or two a month, which… it seems to have died down, so it’s looking better. However, it’s still consistent,” VanBuren said.

But the case in Howell has people there being a little more cautious.

“I just hope that, you know, that they find ways to make our credit cards more secure,” said Howell resident Demphna Krikorian.

The F.B.I. says customers can stay protected by checking for broken gas pump seals, watching for suspicious behavior at gas stations and checking their credit card statements.

And for customers?

“All the extra precautions I can take,” Krikorian said.

Precautions that could just save your credit card.

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