NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - More than $1 billion is stolen from U.S consumers each year by credit card skimmers, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
New York City gets hit hard when it comes to ATM skimming. Crooks install hidden cameras at ATMs and gas pumps to watch you put in your PIN. The criminals even us overlay keypads that store your information.
Deputy Inspector Christopher Flanagan, the commanding officer of the NYPD Financial Crimes Task Force, said the criminals are getting smarter and the skimmers are getting harder to detect. And with hundreds of ATMs in the city and just four detectives on the task force, fighting the crimes can be difficult.
But the NYPD is testing a new device that can help track down skimmers. It is called the "skim reaper." Computer engineers at the University of Florida invented the device. Flanagan said the device could help people who aren't that familiar with detecting skimmers find them.
You can do a few things to protect yourself from being a victim of fraud. Detectives say tug at the card reader; if it wiggles or moves that could mean something is wrong. Also cover the PIN pad when punching in your numbers; 9 out of 10 times that can save you.