North Liberty police investigate possible "skimmer" fraud - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Liberty police investigate possible "skimmer" fraud

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

The town of North Liberty has been the scene of an uncharacterized number of fraud reports of debit and credit cards, prompting an investigation of the area.

One victim told KWWL they had around $800 taken from them, spent between six different Walmart locations.

"We generally have probably two reports a month but seven in a short four or five day period seems like a lot and with social media we saw a lot more that's kind of been reported that's had to them but they were never required to contact the police department," Diane Venenga, North Liberty Chief of Police, said.

Police are investigating the possibility that a "skimmer" was put in the area, a device generally put on gas pumps or ATMs that captures debit and credit card information.

So far, they've had no luck of tracking one down.

"We have checked all of those facilities and areas here but what we've heard is groups will come into a town they'll hit it one day and then they come back the next day and remove it and so we'll be reviewing video of our convenience stores," Venenga said.

There are ways to protect oneself from being a future victim by observing the devices used when swiping cards and whether or not the lights are working on them, is one way.

"Sometimes the lights aren't activated on the key pad if that is there or the light where the card is at because they're putting a cover over the actual card reader," she said.

Otherwise police are recommending avoiding outside card readers and instead going inside and having face-to-face contact with a clerk.

Police are also asking that victims report their fraud cases to them. That way it makes it easier to track down and pinpoint a central location that the fraudulent activity is happening at.

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