COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - As the holidays approach, authorities are warning people of credit card skimmers.
They are devices attached to card readers that are capable of recording personal information needed to crack into your account.
It can happen anywhere you insert your card, whether you have a chip or not. It is most common at gas stations and ATMs.
As you swipe your card, crooks using skimmers can scan the magnetic strip. Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Armando Munoz is urging people to be cautious.
"They're basically picking up your keypad information and your account information."
Skimmers are designed to look completely normal, but experts say if something looks off, give it a tug, if it falls off or if its loose, it could be fake and cost you big bucks.
At gas stations, compare machines to ensure your pump hasn't been tampered with.
"It'd be best if you could use a machine that's inside a facility. A lot of time these skimmers are used on outside machines because there's not as many people observing them do it. They're close by and can see you using the machine and they're able to receive that information from the skimmer. If you see something suspicious just report it to the business or contact your local law enforcement agency," Munoz said.
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