Red flags that can help you avoid having your financial info stolen by a skimmer

GALESBURG, Illinois -- Police in Galesburg are working with the FBI in an investigation into fraudulent charges.

Related: Galesburg police investigate fraudulent charges at IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union

Recent reports of credit and debit cards being compromised spawned the investigation, according to the Galesburg Police Department.

Between March 1 and March 3, there were reports of debut cards being used in ATMs in Chicago, police said.  Investigators said they believe a card skimmer was attached to a point of sale at one or more local convenience stores.

There have been no skimming devices recovered and there are no suspects.

A larger investigation is being done out of the FBI's New York City field office.  As of early March, this type of fraudulent activity has been found in at least 27 states including Illinois.

Galesburg police are trying to help citizens avoid having their financial information stolen.  They say the following are red flags:

  • If the card reader is built to accept a chip but is not working
  • If the buttons on the card reader are hard to push or don't work well
  • If the clerk says the card reader is not working (police say there are portable devices that can collect information; police advice consumers always keep an eye on the card)

If you are concerned about a card reader, police say you shouldn't touch it or try to remove the skimmer.  Instead, notify the store manager and have them contact police.

If you have been a victim of a credit or debit card breach, report it to your financial institution and file a police report.

Anyone with information about the investigation should contact the Galesburg Police Department at 309-343-9151 or Galesburg CrimeStoppers at 309-344-0044.

Crime tips can also be sent to 274637.  Text the word "Galesburg + your tip".

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