I have had my card's numbers stolen before. I believe it had to have been skimmed. Unfortunately, when I reported it to police nothing was ever done about it to determine whether or not it was skimmed. The person made a clone of my card and was using it up in the Twin Cities.

Thankfully I am OCD about checking my account online so they didn't get very far. As soon as I saw a transaction in Blooming Prairie Wal-Mart for $200, I knew 1. I wasn't at that location 2. I would never spend that much at Wal-Mart.

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I notified my bank right away and filed a police report. I also called the places this person used my card, gathered information and emailed my own "investigation" to police. They were able to obtain video footage of the guy using my card but were limited in what they could do since it was in another county.

I was able to get the entire amount spent returned to me, but I did find it disturbing that criminals like this get away with stealing on a daily basis. Which brings me to this - there are ways to help prevent your card information from being stolen. Here's how:

  • 1

    Wiggle ATM or Gas Pump card slot

    Wiggling the card slot to an ATM or gas pump can help identify whether or not a skimmer is inside it or on top of the actual reader.

  • 2

    Cover your card and pin

    When at the ATM or gas pump, cover the pin pad when inputting your pin number.

  • 3

    Add "Ask for ID" on the back of the card

    Add "Ask for ID" to the signature part on the back of the card. The cashier will request ID verification before usage.

  • 4

    Keep your card number hidden

    When you're at a restaurant, keep the card number side flipped over so it's hidden. Many times people leave their card number visible while they wait for the server to pick up their form of payment.

  • 5

    Use an ID management service

    Use a service like CyberScout to monitor your accounts and report potential fraud immediately to you.