About two weeks ago several mysterious charges totaling $400 appeared on my PayPal debit card account. This was no laughing matter as that account draws money directly from our checking account balance. I immediately called PayPal and within a few minutes they determined that someone was using my debit card in North Carolina! How could that be when I have the card in my wallet and have not been to North Carolina in a couple of years? It turns out that my card was cloned in a skimmer scam. Skimmers are small devices attached to legitimate credit card terminals (typically at outdoor gas pumps). While you are swiping your card at the terminal, the skimmer device steals the data from the magnetic strip on the card and can then the crooks can manufacture a copy.
While these devices used to be visible, they are now mostly installed inside the machine. THIS MEANS THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO DETECT THE PRESENCE OF A SKIMMER. There is a common master key that opens up most gas pumps that can be purchased online by criminals!
Watch This Shocking Video
What Can You Do?
The only way to deal with this problem is to pay inside the gas station and never pay at the pump. Alternatively, use a dedicated credit card for gas purchases that is not linked to your bank account or that you do not need for any other purpose. I was fortunate that PayPal acted quickly and restored the $400 to my bank account within two days. I can not imagine the problems that this could cause for some families that live from paycheck to paycheck. The problem is now so big that the Secret Service is involved in these investigations.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!