Even in the world of COVID I still shimmy the card reader when I get gas because I watch too much Dateline. But, for real, the extra 3 or 4 seconds could save you from a casualty of problems.

The Belvidere Police Department has reported (via Facebook) concerns in their area regarding credit card skimmers being placed at local businesses. While detectives continue to investigate these reports, law enforcement officials recommend making purchases inside of the establishment and only use a credit card when and where you feel the machines are secured and have not been tampered with.

PCMag.com shared these three tips to keep your credit/debit card safe:

Give the ATM machine or card reader a diligent "once-over" looking for anything out of the ordinary.

If something looks different, such as a different color or material, graphics that aren't aligned correctly, or anything else that doesn't look right, don't use that ATM.

Follow my "shimmy" tip. Specifically, the idea mentioned at the beginning of this article, not the awkward dance move. Give a little shake to protruding parts and your card too as it goes in. Don't forget a credit card readers could be inside an ATM that takes in your card.

Wiggling the card as you enter it in the slot won't interfere with your transaction, but will foil the skimmer.

Try to hide your pin from onlookers or potential hidden cameras.

Obtaining the PIN is essential since the criminals can't use the stolen magnetic stripe data without it.

You can read more about these tips, including in-depth explanations and visuals, HERE.

The Belvidere Police Department also recommends using RFID security wallets and cardholders. And, as with all investigations, if you have any specific information about any type of credit card fraud or any crime should call the Belvidere Police Department at 815-544-2135 or Boone County Crime Stoppers at 815-547-7867.

JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.


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