JACKSON, Miss.- Protecting your identity from online scammers is getting harder with each passing day, but it’s not just online that you should be careful. CEO John O’Hara with the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi said scammers are getting smarter in their approach whether it be online, ATM’s, or even gas stations.
When shopping online watch out for several red flags:
- Instant giveaways or unreasonably cheap items are a dead giveaway that you’ve stumbled upon a scam.
- Does the browser list the site as secure?
- Are you sure you’re buying for the actual site you intended?
- Shop with your credit card and not your debit card. Credit cards have an extra level of security if you do get caught in a scam.
“Know what site you’re going to,” said O’Hara.”If you want to look up what site you’re using sometimes the browser will say ‘not secure’ this is a sure sign you’ve hit a scam.”
But online shoppers aren’t the only ones at risk. Recently scammers have been using what’s called a skimmer, or a device attached to an ATM or gas pump card reader. These devices “skim” your card info off of the magnetic strip.
“A lot of gas stations have a seal tape, if you see that tape has been broken and a new seal hasn’t been replaced you really want to notify the gas station,” said O’Hara.
Scammers will also use a portable camera and stay nearby. This way they can get pictures of your card numbers, pin numbers, and anything else you use to access your account.
Tips to remember when using an ATM:
- Use an ATM at a bank as often as possible.
- Cover the keypad with your hand when entering a pin number.
- Check for signs of skimmers; tape, looks loose etc.
- Be aware of strange signs concerning ATM’s
- Do not take help from someone at an ATM, and immediately leave.
If you do fall prey to a scam notify your bank of the issue so it can be resolved as soon as possible. If further action needs to be taken begin with the local police department.