Shoppers are getting their identity stolen without even knowing - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Shoppers are getting their identity stolen without even knowing it

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PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -

In today's digital world, you probably swipe your debit or credit cards several times a day without even thinking about it.

Police are warning everyone to pay closer attention because of a scam that has hit the tri-states.

It's called "card skimming."

It's a scam that police say anyone who uses a credit or debit card could become the next victim of.

  Police say the potential crook is a store clerk looking to empty your bank account.

Brad Miller said he used to swipe his debit card frequently without even paying attention.

 Until he noticed hundreds of dollars were missing from his checking account, after using his card at a Hannibal gas station.

"Just checking bank statements online and I noticed that an ATM withdrawal was made in a city that I haven't been in recently," said Miller.

It turns out he was one of several victims of the "card skimmers" scam.

Here's how it works: A cashier asks for your card to swipe. Then, without you even noticing, they swipe your card through a machine, which steals the data from your card. The cashier also watches you put in your pin number.

Palmyra Police Chief Eddie Bogue said after they get the information, your bank account can be drained.

"They transfer that number to another card. It's a reader. So it reads it on the one card and write it on the other card," said Bogue.

Bogue said to avoid being a victim, you should be watchful when using your card.

"If someone asks for your card to run it, be sure to watch them. Make sure they are only running it through the one machine instead of running it through another one which is the one they used to copy it with," said Bogue.

Miller says another way to stop a scammer from draining your account is to monitor your bank statements carefully, something he learned the hard way.

"I check them quite frequently online just to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Miller.

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