FRANKLIN, Ind (WISH) — Forget stealing your actual credit card, police say it’s becoming more popular for thieves to just clone your card. Police say it happened to a woman recently in Franklin.
Police say the woman tried using her card at a local Bob Evans. After it was declined several times, she called her bank. They were able to determine that the card had physically been swiped by thieves, however, the card was still in her possession.
Police released a surveillance photo of a couple who they believe are responsible for cloning the woman’s card. Authorities say the suspects used the card at a Franklin Kroger four times in one day. That same day, they also used it at a Greenwood Kroger, charging more than $300.
Franklin Police Detective Adam Joseph said the suspects purchased $50 gift cards.
Joseph says the suspects could be selling the cards for cash. He says a device, typically purchased online but is also available at supply stores for less than $1,000, is all it takes to make a duplicate card. The devices have magnetic encoders that copy the information in a magnetic strip.
“Every day there is something new out there, which is great for the normal person. But the criminals are also finding out ways to work around that and use that to their advantage,” said Joseph.
He says they’re not exactly sure how the suspects got the credit card information, but it could be linked to skimming devices that were found at a Franklin gas station back in September.
“It is possible that our victim’s information was obtained through one of those skimming devices. We have a lot of data that we were able to recover from those devices,” he explained.
Investigators are going through that data to see if there is a connection. But some credit card customers are losing faith and considering going back to using cash.
“It’s kind of scary. The last thing you need is somebody stealing your identification or your credit card,” said Jeff Garretson.
Gary Deem added, “You used to have to be the guro that knew how to make the card. But not so much anymore, anybody could do it.”
To keep yourself protected, police have this advice:
- Only use secure websites.
- Check gas pumps for anything unusual, ask the clerk to inspect your pump before inserting your card.
- Monitor your banks accounts daily using online banking.
- Use a wallet that would protect your cards from being scanned.
- Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service.