Credit card skimmers attack parking meters!
A worldwide trend in many cities has installed modern parking meters that accept credit and debit cards; making it more convenient to shop and dine in city neighborhoods. Many consumers have welcomed this convenience. Who wants to carry around a bag full of coins anyhow?
However, accepting this convenience, many people have not had time to consider the risks involved in using a credit card capable parking meter. Numerous cities within the United States and Canada have already reported thieves compromising the security of their users’ credit cards by skimming card information off various types of credit card machines.
What is “Skimming” you ask?
It is a method by which thieves steal your credit card information, and all it requires is a little illegal technology and a lot of criminal intent. Skimming has been reported at ATMs, vending machines, retail stores, gas station pumps and even parking meters.
This can happen a few different ways. One is by placing a metal plate over the top of the parking meter where you insert your credit card and then on the back, there is a chip and a battery that can retrieve the card information. Unfortunately, It is difficult to detect this technology on the machine.
Having your personal banking information stolen can lead to unauthorized charges and a lot of future headache. To protect yourself from this kind of theft, monitor your credit card receipts and check them carefully against your statements. If you are married, reconcile your accounts with your spouse as often as possible. Some thieves take out small amounts in hopes cardholders won’t notice.
In the unfortunate event you do become a victim of a “Skimmer”, call the Police immediately to file a report. Next, call your bank or credit card company to file a report to avoid being held responsible to these unauthorized charges. Then contact the three major credit bureaus; TransUnion, Equifax and Experian to request a security freeze. This prevents new credit authorizations without your consent.
All in all, the best way to be protected when using parking meters is to use coins or cash.
LEG Valet will always be happy to provide quality valet services for you and protect your vehicle during city visits.