KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 4, 2019
Constable Ted Heap, Harris County Precinct 5, is asking for the public’s help identifying four suspects wanted for using illegally obtained debit card information to steal more than $3,000 from an unsuspecting senior citizen in Katy. (EIGHT PHOTO SLIDES BELOW)
Detectives believe the suspects used an illegal credit card skimmer to steal the victim’s digital information.
Stolen Debit Card Information
On November 10, they ran up several thousand dollars in charges and money orders at two Katy-area grocery stores using the victim’s stolen debit card information. The suspects were caught on surveillance cameras while using the fraudulent debit cards.
They are described as four light skinned Hispanic males in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Several of them are wearing designer athletic clothing, seen in the slideshow above.
Reporting Information on this Case
If you recognize these suspects or have any information to help with the investigation of this crime, Constable Heap asks you to call Investigator K. Fesperman at 281-463-6666 or let them know through their online crime tips webpage: https://constablepct5.com/index.php/online-crime-tips
What are Skimmers? Skimmers are illegal devices made to be affixed to the mouth of an ATM or credit card reader which secretly steal credit and debit card information when unknowing customers use their cards into the machines. Experts estimate skimmer fraud costs consumers in the U.S. more than $1 billion annually.
Thieves insert skimmers onto ATM, gas station credit card terminals or any other payment terminals. It’s very easy for thieves to slip the devices on terminals that are out in the open. When a card is swiped the data is collected and later used for fraudulent charges. It is important to always be cautious.
Tips to Reduce Your Chances for Credit Card Skimming/Fraud
Use indoor ATMs with security cameras nearby and card readers that are inset into the machine.
At gas pumps check to see if the pump’s security seal is broken.
Set up mobile banking alerts to be notified of credit card activity as it happens.
Save receipts and monitor your bank statements on a regular basis. Credit card skimmers don't always use your bank information immediately. It could be months later.
Report skimming or fraud immediately to your bank and local law enforcement.
Avoid doing business at unfamiliar places or questionable online sites.
Check electronic readers for any evidence of tampering. If the card reader appears loose or broken, report it to an attendant and find a more secure device to use.
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