The phrase “Payment Card” is a common definition for a wide range of payment types. These include Credit, Debit, ATM, and benefit cards. There are a few manners of theft, which can allow a thief to access your funds or charge items to your account.

The following information is for crimes committed on existing accounts. For newly created accounts, please refer to the Compromised Identity sub-section.

The best protection against credit card fraud is to know where your cards are at all times and keep them secure. If you are a victim of payment card fraud, report it IMMEDIATELY to the card issuer AND the police department. Federal law requires the immediate reporting, for consumer protection from unauthorized charges. The card issuer will have additional forms to complete, which are required to obtain protection from the unauthorized charges.


Never give or loan your card to another person. By doing so, you may remove the protections available with your banking provider.

Please check the ATM for any oddities.  Skimming devices are becoming a greater problem in the Las Vegas area. The Skimming devices and cameras obtain your banking information (see below); you may find the bank will hold you responsible for the theft. If you find something you believe is a skimming device or covert camera, please contact the ATM owner and/or the police.  Be watchful about who is around, when you use an ATM.

Some basic tips are:

  • Keep your Personal Identification Number (PIN) a secret.
    • Memorize the number. 
    • Don't use your address, birth date, phone or social   security number.
    • Don't carry your PIN in your wallet or purse or write it on your ATM card.
    • Never write your PIN on the outside of a deposit slip, an envelope, or business card.
  • Take your ATM receipt after completing a transaction and reconcile all ATM receipts with bank statements as soon as possible.  When finished with the receipts, tear up or cross-cut shred all receipts before throwing away.


Never give or loan your card to another person. By doing so, you may remove the protections available with your banking provider.

Only use trusted retailers and be careful using cards online. If your bank allows for the use of virtual account numbers for online transactions, it is a wise choice to take advantage of these. The bank will create a virtual account number which allows a one-time use or set time frame for use, for each temporary number.

If the retailer accepts chip card payments, use the chip on your card. The chip creates an encrypted transaction, which offers greater protection than the magnetic stripe. Your magnetic stripe information is easily read and duplicated, which is why the chipped cards are being implemented.

  • Keep a record - in a safe place, separate from your cards - of your account numbers, expiration dates, and the phone numbers of each card issuer so you can report a loss quickly.
  • Carry only those cards that you anticipate you'll need.
  • Be cautious about disclosing your account number over the phone unless you know you are dealing with a reputable company.
  • Draw a line through blank spaces on charge slips above the total so that the amount cannot be changed.
  • Don't sign a blank charge slip.
  • When your credit card is returned to you, make sure your name is on the card.
  • Do not leave credit card receipts that have your credit card number listed in full on a table at a restaurant.
  • Void incorrect receipts and destroy carbons.  Always take your receipts with you. Never throw them in a public trash container.


Criminals are entrepreneurs and are always trying to find new ways to steal from the hardworking people that live and visit our community. It is very important for you to be mindful of every device where you insert or swipe your payment card. There are a variety of methods for criminals to obtain your information.

If you locate a skimmer, DO NOT TOUCH THE DEVICE! Call law enforcement and inform them what has been found.

Gas Pump

Gas pump skimmers are being found in our community. Most of these skimmers are inside the machine and outside the eye of the consumer. When using a gas pump, look for security seals or other security measures the gas station uses to show if a pump has been tampered with. If you find missing or torn seals, do not use the pump. Notify the station employees about the problem.

Tampered Seal


Valid Seal


External Skimmer


Fake Keypad Overlay


Point of Sale

Skimmers on point of sale terminals have also appeared. Retailers should be inspecting their terminals for any skimming devices. As the consumer, you should also look at each device before inserting or sliding your payment card. If something appears out of place, notify the retailer. If there is a skimming device on the terminal, please also contact law enforcement.

This is an overlay skimmer recovered from a local retailer.


ATM Skimmer

ATM skimmers are also a continuing problem. There are two types, external and internal. An internal skimmer cannot be seen by the consumer and could involve a device placed inside the card reader area or a device placed inside the computer processing area. It is important to inspect the ATM prior to use. If there is something suspicious or the machine malfunctions, contact the owner of the machine. If a device is located, please contact the owner AND law enforcement.

An example of an external ATM skimmer is below. The skimmer is placed over the existing reader. You can see the camera area and false panel.

Here is the skimmer -

Here is the false panel, which conceals the camera. Notice the small pinhole.

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