After putting up our Christmas tree at WorthamWorld and getting our holiday lights out, I loaded up my team this past Friday for a bit of holiday shopping. As usual, my husband Matthew Wortham decided to stay home with our turkey loving beagle, Mr. Foxy Wortham. It’s rare for my husband to volunteer to go shopping. Arriving at Parks Mall in Arlington, Texas we had a shocking surprise when my twin sister and I walked over to the ATM near a carousel ride that our Latest Little Pawner, Madyson Blais always enjoys riding. It was lucky for “Little Maddy” that I had cash on me after my sister found a Credit Card Skimmer on the ATM. The location of this ATM is a few steps away from the carousel and I’m fairly certain that many shoppers who didn’t have cash regularly visit this ATM becayse there is always a line and the carousel accepts cash only.
My sister approached the ATM and noticed the card holder slot looked “jiggly” so she wiggled it and it fell right off exposing the real card holder slot under it. We were all shocked but my niece Leigh Ann Blais was immediately “lit” because she had been wiped out a few months ago after using this very same ATM to get cash for Maddy to ride the carousel and fought her bank for two weeks because the credit card thief had been using her PIN number. The skimming device had an sd card in order to save PIN numbers inside.
We immediately attempted to locate an officer to report the first Credit Card Skimmer we had ever seen when a security officer at the mall approached us to ask what the problem was. I explained that the ATM had a Skimmer on it and was told it wasn’t a problem as the security officer put it right back on the ATM. Rather than let anyone else have their credit card compromised, I called the Arlington Police Department and reported the Skimmer.
Here’s how this credit card scam works ya all…
My family and I had a moment to examine this device after taking it off again when the security officer walked off. I found it pretty suspicious that she had put it back on and highly likely that she was in on this scam as we waited for a police officer and advised other shoppers that this ATM had a Skimmer on it. We were determined to get Law Enforcement involved and shut down that ATM with hundreds of Black Friday shoppers in the mall in order to protect them from unknowingly using this ATM. The police officer shut it down and will hopefully find the Criminal that put it there in the first place by searching for fingerprints. Sadly, since there was no camera, it will make the Police Departments job more difficult.
The responding police officer called the company providing the ATM to inquire about a camera, you can imagine his surprise to learn that there wasn’t a camera on this particular ATM. Hmmm, how convenient for thieves who steal credit card information from innocent consumers who assume that not only does the ATM provide a safe way to get their money but that it also provides surveillance?
The best way to protect yourself is to skip ATM’s altogether. Rather than paying at the pump, go inside and pay the cashier.
My niece finally got the bank to replace over $1200 in stolen credit card charges but she’s a military wife and since her bank was unaware of this type of Skimmer that can retain PIN information, my niece was forced to go through a very lengthy process where the victim is victimized by a bank that doesn’t believe a theft occurred.
Wiggle the slot up and down, sideways and back and forth. If it doesn’t move, you may be okay but cover your PIN information because this scam also can involve hidden cameras and other ways to steal your information.
If you see something suspicious—do everyone else a favor and report it immediately…