NEW YORK - MAY 20: In this photo illustration, major U.S. credit cards are seen on May 20, 2009 in New York City. In new landmark credit card legislation, the United States Senate has voted 90 to 5 to pass a bill that would restrict credit…
Photographer: Spencer Platt
Many of us use credit cards everyday.
But criminals have now learned how to charge your cards without them ever leaving your sight.
It's a lesson many people are learning the hard way.
"It was very disturbing, because you feel invaded…"
Thieves used a device to invade Olivia Flowers credit card information, open new bank accounts and then go on a buying spree.
U.S. Postal Inspector Paul Krenn says, "The devices now are really small, they can be held in your hand.. and it can be done quite easily."
Olivia went shopping for a new car and got her first hints that someone skimmed her credit card. Thieves destroyed her credit.
"He told me that my credit score was really low. And he told me… he actually gave me the printout."
Postal Inspectors are warning credit and debit card skimming is on the rise, especially in fast food restaurants and gas stations. It is also profitable. In a bust in Puerto Rico, Postal Inspectors seized weapons and big ticket items.
Flowers says, "There were $90,000 worth of postal money orders which were purchased using
the fraudulent debit cards."
Credit card companies know that skimmers are targeting their customers, but it's not always easy to reclaim your good name..
Flowers says, "Because the credit agency is asking you to prove that you didn't actually do it."
Don't fall victim to credit card skimmers.
Always check your receipts after each purchase you make. Be sure to check your credit statement at the end of each billing cycle. If you notice an unusual charge on your credit cards, notify your credit card company immediately.
One of the easiest ways to make sure this doesn't happen to you is to make sure your card stays in sight and never let anyone who has it go anywhere.
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