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Credit Card Fraud

In recent weeks, the Albemarle County Police Department has seen an increase in credit card theft and fraud. However, in these cases, the victims still have the credit cards in their possession but the suspects have the card information. The suspects are able to recreate cards with their name and photo identification but with the victim’s card information.

Credit card information is often gained from a device called a "skimmer". A skimmer records information from the magnetic strip on the card so the thieves can make a fake card with the information. A skimmer is a small, hidden device and can be installed quickly anywhere you swipe your card.

You can check your personal cards for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which is sometimes built into the card. The RFIDs can be “read” from a short distance away, making it easier for your information to be duplicated and stolen. You can order cards without RFIDs orfind shielding wallets. Below is a link to an article from Consumer Reports with a better explanation of RFIDs.

We encourage everyone to be diligent in checking their credit card statements. If you see any transactions which you did not make, contact your local police department. We are currently investigating these cases and need to know exactly when and where the transactions occurred.

As technology continues to advance, we have to be even more vigilant in protecting our personal identifying information and credit or bank account numbers. Please check yourstatements and contact the police if you are the victim of such a crime.

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