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Published November 28, 2013, 08:08 PM

Credit card scam is targeting Becker County

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Before you head out Thursday or Friday morning for shopping, we're bringing you a look at a mysterious credit card scam targeting Becker County.

By: Brian Abel, WDAY

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Before you head out Thursday or Friday morning for shopping, we're bringing you a look at a mysterious credit card scam targeting Becker County.

We decided to take a look at one of the theories behind the scam, and fill you in on how you can protect yourself from handing your credit card information over to high-tech thieves.

"My gut would suspect a skimming device."

Bell State Bank & Trust fraud manager Jim Martin says there are a lot of different schemes out there, but with how localized the fraud is and with how many people have fallen victim, he believes a skimming device could be the cause.

Jim Martin/Fraud Manager, Bell State Bank & Trust: "You don't hear of those too often locally but they have happened and a skimming device is something that could be placed on a gas pump, or an ATM, or some sort of credit card reader."

After the device is placed, it can read information stored right here on the magnetic strip of your credit card and then match that with any keypad information that you input using a pinhole camera or a keypad cover.

So how do you protect yourself?

Martin: "If there's an ATM that looks like it’s got something extra hanging on the outside, maybe it doesn't look like it's attached very well, maybe it just doesn't look normal where you don't normally see something on the outside of an ATM or a gas pump. If there seems like there's something extra there, you don't want to put your card into it.”

And that's just the beginning of what you can do to keep your personal information safe.

Frank Latta/Fargo Resident: "I don't use the credit card at the ATM ok. And if I do use the bank card I use it at the bank that I bank with."

Randy Wimmer/Fargo Resident: "Try to monitor it daily and keep my fingers crossed"

"I don't even have any credit cards."

Other tips to prevent fraud, experts suggest using well-lit, monitored ATM's, they also say you should cover the keypad while you type and simply, pay attention.

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