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Retailers learning how to combat credit card skimmers

An increasingly common problem for retailers in Texas and other parts of the country is the use of credit card skimmers. This is why law enforcement officers are making an effort to help store owners better defend their gas pumps by minimizing issues with small devices used to illegally gather sensitive credit card information. Between 2017 and 2018 there was a threefold increase in skimmer installations in San Antonio alone, according to police.

Stores with older pumps tend to be more susceptible to this type of theft offense. During a workshop held to educate retails about credit card skimmers, officials displayed seized devices to show store owners what they were up against. One of the goals of such efforts is to encourage retailers to use encrypted equipment that prohibits the use of skimmers. A special agent commenting on the problem highlighted the astronomical costs associated with what's considered a form of identity theft.

The San Antonio field office has confiscated about 200 skimmers, which amounts to about $5-6 million worth of potential loss, according to the special agent in charge of this office. Thieves often use credit card skimmers to obtain financial information that's sometimes used to buy gift cards. Some of the illegally obtained customer data is also sold on the black market. As far as prevention goes, it's advised that gas pump users look for signs of tampering at the pump and go to well-lit areas with surveillance cameras.

In regard to theft crimes, a criminal defense attorney may attempt to raise doubts about an accused individual's role in the alleged crime. If the accusations involve credit card information theft, for instance, a lawyer might review evidence or question the legality of certain actions taken by law enforcement officials.

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