When you make a quick stop at the grocery store or at your neighborhood gas station, the last thing you expect is to have your credit card information stolen. However, this is an unfortunate and typical occurrence, as many people are unsuspecting. Knowing what to look out for and how to avoid credit card skimming is essential to preventing your information from being used. If your card data is gleaned, however, you’re not out of options. A California unauthorized credit card transactions lawyer can help you dispute these fraudulent charges on your account.
What Is Credit Card Skimming?
Credit card skimming is a scam used to take your card information to make fraudulent and unauthorized purchases in your name. It is done by placing a device over the card reader at ATMs, gas pumps, and self-checkouts. The device takes your information from the magnetic strip or chip in the card. Often, keypads are replaced so the thieves can steal PIN numbers associated with the card. However, they may also place a small camera near the keypad to obtain this information.
What Should I Look Out For?
When using a card reader, there are things you can be aware of to prevent thieves from obtaining your information. First and foremost, when using an ATM, try to use the machine inside a bank location instead of a drive-through one. Because there is often more lighting and security measures in place inside the bank, it is less likely that a scammer will have the time necessary to install one of these devices without someone noticing.
Similarly, you should pay attention to the card reader. If it is loose, extra bulky, or a different color than the other card readers, you should try not to use that machine. Alert employees to any reader you think may be compromised so they can further investigate.
Who Should I Contact if My Card Information Was Stolen?
If you believe your card information was stolen due to a credit card skimmer, it is imperative you contact the company as soon as possible. The Fair Credit Billing Act guarantees consumers the right to dispute fraudulent charges on their credit cards.
However, if the purchase was substantial, the credit card company may deny or ignore your claim. Should this happen, contacting a consumer protection attorney as soon as possible is crucial to protecting your credit score. You should not be held responsible for other’s crimes.
At Loker Law, we believe you should not have to suffer due to the crimes of others. When a credit card company refuses to remove unauthorized charges from your account, we can help. Contact our office today to discuss the details of your case with one of our seasoned attorneys.