Protect Yourself From Skimmers

Card skimmers are devices that criminals may install at point-of-sale terminals. Most skimmers work by capturing the information on a credit or debit card’s magnetic strip. Criminals use the captured information to make purchases.

Take these steps to help protect yourself from skimmers:

  • Use tap to pay if your card has that feature.
  • If your card has a chip, insert the chip end in the point-of-sale device rather than swiping the magnetic strip.
  • Check your accounts regularly for unauthorized purchases. Even small charges could signal a problem. Ask your financial institution to text or email you an alert when a transaction is made on your account.
  • Cover the keypad anytime you type in a password at a point-of-sale terminal or ATM.
  • Consider paying in cash.


What to do if you see unauthorized charges on your account:

  • Contact the bank or credit union immediately. Most cards have a fraud number on the back on the card. If the card issuer asks you to provide additional information or to submit information in writing, do so quickly.
  • If you receive a text alert about a charge you did not authorize, do not click the texted link. Instead, log into your account or call your bank using the number on the back of your card.
  • Consider filing a police report to document the loss.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
has information on disputing unauthorized debit charges and your rights and on how to dispute credit card charges.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit theft:

If your SNAP/EBT card is missing funds, you must report the fraud to Health and Human Services. Visit the County’s Health and Human Services website to learn more and to report suspected benefit fraud or call the Cuyahoga County Public Assistance Fraud Hotline at 216-987-6950.


Report Scams:

Call Scam Squad at 216-443-SCAM (7226) to talk with an investigator 8:30a to 4:30p Monday-Friday. 

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