Identity Theft: Skimming You Blind

Apr 28 08:33 2009 Daryl Campbell Print This Article

There was a time when it meant a harmless activity that was a lot of fun. Now it's turned into a harmful activity thyt can rob you of money.

In a recent study done by Unisys Security Index,Guest Posting sixty six percent of those surveyed stated that they feared somewhere along the way they would become victims of identity theft. That's not really surprising since it ranks as the number one consumer complaint for the eighth year in a row.  

Identity theft however came in a close second behind fear of debit card misuse. In a way they are connected by a form of identity fraud known as skimming.   

When you were a little younger, skimming probably meant throwing rocks along the water and seeing how many times it could bounce across the surface. Now it's taken on an added meaning which if you are not careful can rob you of every penny in your credit card account.    

Skimming can happen at any store or restaurant where you use your credit card to make a transaction. For instance at a restaurant you hand the waiter or waitress your credit card. They leave your line of vision and swipe the card through an electronic device known as skimmer. In less than a second the skimmer stores your credit card information. No doubt if some crooked employee is skimming your card then they have probably done this to quite a number of people.  

However it doesn’t stop there. The connection with debit card misuse can be a number of things but usually it's the form of the automatic teller machine. An unsuspecting person goes to make a transaction but after inputting their personal identification number, a message pops up stating the machine is out of order. No problem right? Just retrieve your card and go find another atm. Except that unbeknown to you, a skimming device was put in place to read your card information as well as your pin number. It doesn't take too long after that for thieves to drain your account.  

Therefore after you have used your card to make a transaction, check back frequently that everything appears to be in order. Unfortunately skimming along with the advent of new technology and the tweaking of the traditional tried and true methods of thievery will guarantee that identity theft remains at the top of the consumer list for a long time to come. 

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Daryl Campbell
Daryl Campbell

Article written by Daryl Campbell at Identity Theft and Fraud. Drastically reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim 

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