Beware Card Skimmers at the Grocery Store
As of yesterday yours truly is mired in a first-ever credit card skimming experience resulting in a large fraudulent charge that all but cleaned out my account. The primary place I use the victimized card is at a neighborhood Publix grocery store but occasionally I shop at Kroger.
My suspicion rests with Publix because approximately a month ago I was behind a young man in the check out line and upon completing his transaction – and with me in process of purchasing my stuff – he stood nearby and continued to peck at his smartphone and was still doing so as I left the store while glancing at me every once in a while. Not much to be suspicious of perhaps but I had one of those what you call ‘feelings’.
As I drove from the parking lot, his truck was in front of my car and I saw which street he turned on as I turned into my neighborhood. Oddly enough, he turned onto Woodstock Road and maybe it’s a coincidence but the GoPro camera that was fraudulently purchased with my card may have come from one of several official GoPro stores in the Atlanta area. One of them is in Woodstock. My bank had the unusually large transaction On Hold and called me to ask if I had authorized the transaction (no!) so in checking my account, it showed the debited amount to be On Hold — and for a purchase at a camera shop for a GoPro.
Curiously, the Publix store in question replaced their swipe machines with new models about a week ago. Perhaps other customers have had similar issues of card theft and fraudulent charges. I shall mention my experience to the store management soon.
Anyway, I write to express a bit of my frustration and to caution those who use their cards in swipe machines no matter where. Here is a Daily Kos contributor who had a similar experience and knows more about the technology of the matter than little ole me:
Wonder why in America credit card companies won’t give our cards the same kind of security enjoyed by card holders in other countries?