There are a few things that can't be avoided during the holiday season, and shopping is one of them. But with some timely advice, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is offering some tips to help us avoid credit card scams.

First and foremost, watch what's going on when you hand your credit or debit card over to pay.

One of the most common scams involving credit cards is a device that can steal your information with something that most of us wouldn't give a second thought to - simply swiping to pay.

On the topic of "skimmers", Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari says,

Credit card “skimmers” are one way a thief can steal a credit card in less than one second. While legitimate credit card machines scan the magnetic strip on the back of the card and apply the purchase to your account, an unscrupulous employee could scan the card a second time using a personal handheld device."

The easiest way to avoid such a scam, "Always keep your eye on your credit card when you hand it to a store or gas station employee”.

Thankfully, new credit cards that are armed with chips are more secure, but even the high tech cards are being targeted by scammers in other ways.

And the best piece of advice from Vicari is a pretty common sense tip - "Keep all of your receipts and carefully compare them to your credit card or bank statements. Report any discrepancies as soon as possible”.

Have you ever fallen victim to a credit card scam in Ocean County? Tell us about it in the comments section below!


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