MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Credit card fraud becomes a growing problem both nationwide and locally. Police say skimming devices could be to blame.
Police want everyone to be aware of the credit and debit card skimmers that may be placed around town.
"Just this week, I know I've read over at least three or four that I've read over just here at this agency," Joel McGartlin said.
Detective Joel McGartlin with North Myrtle Public Safety says a lot of these investigations start after card information was already taken and in most cases, people still have their cards on them.
This leads police to believe, their cards were swiped through a skimmer. Though these devices are hard to spot, there are signs but police say people have to take the time to look.
"Look for pry marks, is it a different color than it was a week ago… it may have originally been a black credit card slot, and now all of the sudden it's either yellow, blue, or gray," McGartlin explained.
Police say these skimmers aren't just at the pump... they can also be placed at ATMS and anywhere else you may swipe your card.
"You may not be able to see the little indicator device anymore because the device is now covering that, because it's a little more oversized to fit over the original device," McGartlin said.
Detective McGartlin says unfortunately, people you voluntarily hand your card over to, whether you're at a bar or restaurant, could also be recording your information using a pocket skimmer.
"ATMS, gas stations, it could also be a situation where you may be visiting your favorite place to eat or restaurant…where you may give an employee or somebody your credit card where they might walk off with it briefly like they normally would do, then they are recording the information or using a pocket skimmer where they are recording your credit or debit card information to use at a later time," Detective McGartlin said.
Police urge people to check their bank balances and card statements as much as possible.
"These are the crimes that you don't actually know they occur until they show up on your banking statement," he said.