PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Police in Prince George's County are warning residents of card skimmers after multiple devices were found in stores across the area last week and thousands of dollars in funds stolen this year.
The police department found three skimming devices at convenience stores in the county, allowing people to steal card information.
According to a news release, the skimming devices have started to affect those who are receiving funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) even more. In 2022, so far, $700,000 in SNAP funding has been stolen from recipients in Prince George's County. This has led to multiple, active police investigations into this form of fraud.
According to the FBI, skimming occurs when devices are illegally installed on ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, or fuel pumps capture data or record cardholders’ PINs. Criminals then use the data to create fake debit or credit cards and steal from victims’ accounts.
Prince George's County Police says before using a SNAP card or any type of credit or debit card, to review these safety tips:
- Inspect ATMs or card readers by looking for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched. Don't use any card reader if you notice anything unusual.
- Pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN. Then, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN to prevent cameras from recording your entry.
- Use ATMs in a well-lit, indoor location, which are less vulnerable targets.
- Use debit and credit cards with chip technology. In the U.S., there are fewer devices that steal chip data versus magnetic strip data.
- Avoid using your debit card when you have linked accounts. When possible, use a credit card instead.
- Contact your financial institution if the ATM doesn't return your card after you end or cancel a transaction.
- If you are concerned that your card may have been skimmed, change your PIN to prevent financial loss.
If you believe there is a skimming device on an ATM or card reader in the county, call police and inform employees of the store.
PGPD detectives investigating skimming devices can be reached at 301-516-1464. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477, or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com.