Credit card data stolen
Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2016
By Diana McFarland
The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office is trying to identify a man shown in several surveillance photos taken at the Carrollton Food Lion in connection with credit card fraud.
A Chesapeake resident filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office in September stating her credit card had been used at the Carrollton Food Lion to buy more than $300 of merchandise.
Yet, the victim had the card in her possession when the purchases were made. During this same visit to the store, the suspect used seven other cards to purchase items.
The surveillance footage from the store shows a black man, with a thin beard in his early to mid-20s, using a credit card with account numbers issued to the victim. It is possible that the victim’s card could have been skimmed and duplicated at some point, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Skimming refers to a person scanning a credit card while it is in the victim’s purse or wallet, or they attach a reader to an ATM or other places that accept cards, said Lt. Thomas Potter with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone who knows the identity of this individual is asked to contact the Isle of Wight/Smithfield/Windsor Crime line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or text your information to the word CRIMES and begin your message with the letters “IOWCL”. As always, all information provided to the crime line is confidential. Information leading to the arrest in this case could make the caller eligible for a cash reward.
What is skimming?
Thieves can now access credit card account numbers when the card is in a person’s wallet or purse.
It’s called “skimming” and thieves use a device to scan the information located on the card’s magnetic strip, either in the victim’s possession or by attaching a device to an ATM, gas pump or anywhere a card can be swiped, said Lt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office.
When the card is swiped, the account number and other information is collected, said Potter.
The information is then downloaded onto a computer or a machine that allows that information to be reprinted on any card with a magnetic strip, such as an expired gift card or hotel pass key, Potter said.
Because of this technology, banks are beginning to use cards with chips rather than magnetic strips, he said.
Cards with chips cannot be read by “skimming,” he said.
For those whose cards still have a magnetic strip, protective sleeves, provided free from banks, can prevent the electronic “phishing” scanning device from reading numbers while in a wallet or purse, Potter said.
In addition to using the protective sleeve, individuals are urged to inspect an ATM for external devices that appear to have been added, such as a separate cover where the card slot is located, Potter said.
“If something looks altered, don’t use it,” he said.
Potter said “skimming” has become a common occurrence.
“That’s the age we’re in,” he said.