Fraud News

Local banks offer protection against fraud

Author: Ryann Brooks / Source: Emporia Gazette

Recent reports of fraudulent credit card charges and skimming devices has many locals wondering what they can do to protect themselves and their money.

Skimmers are thieves who are able to access account numbers and PINs remotely by attaching devices to gas pumps or ATMs. Reports of financial information being stolen from local residents — likely the result of skimming — were made public on April 14. The Emporia Police Department continues to work with other agencies to investigate the skimming incidents from last month.

“We continue to encourage people not to pay at the pump while we work with other agencies to investigate these crimes,” Sergeant Lisa Sage said.

In the meantime, employees of local financial institutions said steps can be taken to decrease the risk of becoming a victim.

Kim Botkin, vice president of operations and cashier for ESB Financial, said that consumers need to be extra vigilant because the devices used may not be visible.

“Some of these devices can be inserted deep into the machines,” Botkin said. “If you can, pay inside to an attendant rather than paying at a pump.”

Local financial institutions are helping protect against these incidents by monitoring accounts for potential issues. Botkin said ESB Financial uses a fraud scoring system to monitor each transaction at the point of sale.

“Everything goes through a fraud scoring system, which looks at things like history of the merchant and spending patterns,” she said.

Tom Thompson, president and CEO of Lyon County State Bank, said by monitoring how someone usually shops, they can stop fraudulent…

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