Scammers using Card Skimmers to steal money in California
In Southern California, there has been an increase in reports of fraud and theft involving Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards in recent years. These occurrences include the use of card skimmers at ATMs to steal money from EBT accounts. This form of scam frequently targets low-income individuals and families who rely on these programmes to make ends meet.
Card skimmers are devices that may be added to ATMs or other payment terminals to steal information from the magnetic stripe of a card. This information is then used to generate a duplicate card, which may subsequently be used to withdraw funds from the victim’s account. The skimmer might be camouflaged as a genuine feature of the ATM or payment terminal, making detection difficult.
Criminals deliberately target ATMs in locations with a high proportion of low-income people when it comes to EBT card skimming. These ATMs are frequently found at convenience shops or other small companies who lack the ability to monitor their devices for evidence of tampering. Criminals may also target ATMs in locations with a large concentration of non-English speakers, who are less likely to report suspicious behaviour.
Criminals can utilise stolen EBT card information to make unauthorised withdrawals from the victim’s account if a skimmer is put on an ATM. These withdrawals have the potential to swiftly deplete the account, leaving the victim unable to access their benefits. In other circumstances, victims may not realise their account has been hijacked until they go to use their EBT card and discover that their balance has been depleted.
EBT card skimming may have disastrous consequences for low-income people and families who rely on these benefits to satisfy their fundamental necessities. They may be unable to acquire food or pay for other necessities if they do not have access to their benefits. The inability to pay rent or other costs as a result of the loss of these money can lead to financial instability and even homelessness.
Individuals should be vigilant while utilising ATMs or other payment terminals to avoid EBT card skimming. They should look for tampering signals, such as loose parts or odd gadgets linked to the card reader. They should also cover the keypad when typing their PIN to avoid concealed cameras from capturing it.
Businesses should also take precautions to avoid EBT card skimming at their ATMs. They should examine their computers on a regular basis for signs of manipulation and report any suspect behaviour to police officials. They can also install anti-skimming equipment or employ ATMs with security measures built in.
To summarise, EBT card skimming is a rising problem in Southern California, with serious consequences for low-income individuals and families who rely on these benefits. Individuals and business owners may help avoid this sort of fraud and guarantee that these critical benefits are available to those who need them the most by taking actions to safeguard themselves and their machines.
Author: Priyanka Priyadarshini Dwibedy