Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Skimming devices used by thieves to steal funds or credit and debit card information from unsuspecting card users is nothing new, but some of the money lost to these fake devices now includes EBT cards used by people receiving social or unemployment benefits.
The Ventura County Attorney’s Office said that in the first three days of this month, Ventura County lost $22,000 in EBT skimming theft.
Statewide, those losses for May so far total nearly $4 million.
The latest skimming device mimicking a POS machine was discovered and recovered from the 7-Eleven store in Moorpark according to the DA.
Thieves usually divert the attention of a store employee in order to place the skimmer on the legitimate point-of-sale machine.
Then the skimmer sends the information directly to the suspects via Bluetooth or stores the data and the device is then picked up by the thieves, downloaded, and then used to clone a card which is used to steal the funds.
The DA states that some signs that a skimming device has been installed are:
1) Labels on the machine indicating that the chip reader is not working
2) Chip reader feature not working and asking user to swipe instead
3) The sides of the device move, lift, or appear bulky, indicating stacking
4) POS machine looks unnecessarily worn or doesn’t match other counter machines
The most secure point-of-sale transactions are through touch, smart cards or app-based payment systems such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.
If you need to use the magnetic stripe reading function in a point-of-sale terminal, avoid using a card where a PIN code is required.