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Beware of Skimmers & Shoulder Surfers

Identity theft and credit card fraud already account for billions in consumer fraud losses every year. Unfortunately, these crimes shows no sign of slowing down as thieves grow sneakier and more consumers fall victim to their tactics. In fact, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, more than 11 million adults were victims of Identity theft and fraud in 2009—a surge of 12 percent since 2008.

High-tech skimmers, built to capture credit card information when your card is swiped, and shoulder-surfing thieves wielding various recording devices are two of the most common ways your personal information can be compromised. To help protect yourself from shoulder surfers, be sure to always shield the entry of your PINs and pay special attention to anyone lingering too close when using your credit card in public. Don't be afraid to politely ask for extra space.

In addition, try to avoid skimming scams by using familiar ATMs in secure locations and always taking a close look at the card reading slot to ensure nothing out of the ordinary is attached. If something looks suspicious or doesn't fit quite right, simply find another ATM and immediately report your experience to the bank.

on Sun, 2010-05-02 17:00