Metro woman hit by skimmers twice in a month

OKLAHOMA CITY - "Yeah, it's really frustrating."

Lauren Johnson is dealing with having her credit card information stolen not just once but twice in less than a month.

"So, back in July, I had notice some random large charges on my account," she said. "About a week ago, it actually happened again."

Hundreds of dollars were charged at locations in Edmond and Oklahoma City.

"Really frustrating because you have to wait for however long it takes for the bank to refund your money and go through the process of getting a new card, so it's very frustrating," Johnson said.

Johnson doesn't know exactly where and how it happened

"It can be the gas station. It can be the ATM. It can be any of it," she said.

Cyber crime experts agree; those are two likely crime scenes. Crooks use skimmer devices that fit over the swipe areas.

"They actually getting a copy of your card while you are buying gas or using an ATM," said Patrick Almond of All about Focus.

Almond said gas station credit card theft is up 200 percent in 2018, estimating more than 1,000 credit card crimes this year alone.

How can you protect yourself?

Almond said use a credit card not a debit card; the charges are covered by the bank. Look for loose or suspicious card readers on gas pumps and ATM machines.

"The best thing you can do is monitor your bank account for odd transactions," he said.

But, Johnson said she has done that.

"I'm looking basically over my shoulder like always checking things to make sure there is nothing extra on it," she said.

Johnson also thinks the chip on most new cards has not solved the skimming problem at all.

"I feel like it's just making it worse and easier access," she said. "They don't check your ID. They never check your ID and, everyone that I called that had the charges to it, none of them checked for my ID."

Almond said gas stations still have years before they have to be fitted with chip readers. He said, if you are suspicious about a machine, you can always pay inside or use Apple or Samsung pay if the place of business offers it.

For more information from Almond, visit allaboutfocus.com.