Scam Alert – Beware of Bank/Credit Card Skimming at Gas Station
First Published: December 15, 2008 ADawnJournal.com
As you know, I always talk about how to protect yourself from various scams and ask you to be extremely cautious. This implies that I am a person who is always cautious when I am exposed to banking and online transactions; however, there are times when you are unable to protect yourself from these scams, regardless of how careful you are. My bank account was recently emptied out by scammers and I will tell you what happened with a screenshot of my bank transactions.
On November 19, 2008, I went to a Chapters Indigo bookstore and attempted to pay with my bank card at the checkout. Instantly, to my surprise, my bank card was declined. This was simply impossible to me, as I always have some cash and overdraft protection on my checking account. I called my bank right away and was told that there were four withdrawals of about $200 each on November 17. Once the bank’s system found out that it was a possible scam, my account was blocked to prevent any further withdrawals.
I did not have any access to my bank account for about seven days. In the meantime, my bank performed an investigation and returned the money that the scammers took from my account. I got a new bank card in the mail and my account was operational again.
I am posting a screen shot to show you how things went:
· Nov 17 – I paid at a Petro Canada gas station with my bank card
· Nov 17 – Someone somehow got a hold of my personal information and withdrew money four times. Notice these amounts scammers withdrew. A regular bank machine in Canada lets you withdraw amounts in multiples of $20 such as $20, $40, $60, etc. I am not sure how they possibly withdrew amounts like $201.50, $202, etc.
· Nov 27 – Bank completed investigation and returned $812.50
Although my bank did not tell me if the hackers got my banking info from the Petro-Canada electronic terminal, I will never use a bank card or credit card at a gas station again. In turn, I would ask you to be extremely cautious using a bank or credit card, especially at a gas station.