State police offer tips to avoid skimmers

Batesville, In. — Police have disrupted two extensive credit card skimming operations in central Indiana in the last two weeks.

In Columbus, skimming devices found on an ATM led police to three suspects that had several stolen credit cards, cameras and skimming equipment. In Martin County police skimming equipment at a gas station in Loogootee.

Here are some important tips to follow to keep from becoming a victim of credit card fraud:

– Monitor your online banking and credit card accounts on a daily basis.  If you see a charge that you are not familiar with or did not authorize, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

– Protect your card, card numbers, and pin numbers (when you must enter them into a keypad) as if someone is watching over your shoulder.  Cover the keypad as you enter those important numbers.

– Before using a card reader at a gas pump, for example, touch the opening of the card reader and try to wiggle it to see if it is temporarily placed in the machine.  ATMs and card readers are built solidly and should not have loose parts.

– Aside from focusing directly on the credit card reader, check the machine or display as a whole.  Does it look like it was cracked or forced open?  Do decals appear to have been broken or misaligned?  Do labels or stickers not appear straight or look to be tampered with?  If so, report the machine to employees and use a different unit.

– If you suspect that you have found a skimming device, take it into the location that the device was placed and notify employees.  Even though the place of business will likely call law enforcement, please feel free to report the incident yourself, as we want to make absolutely sure that it is reported.

The Indiana State Police say it is safe to use credit or bank cards, but ask that you remain vigilant in an effort to protect your accounts and your finances.