Be careful where you swipe your debit card. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, we are currently in the middle of a spree of skimmer crimes, with 10 of the devices recently found in shops across DC in less than a month. Police are now seeking several suspects in the case.
MPD says the devices, which collect debit and credit card numbers, were found in businesses at the following locations:
September 19: 4800 block of Nannie Helen Burrough Ave., NE
September 27: 1200 block of Brentwood Rd., NE
September 29: Unit block of Peabody St., NW
October 1: 7400 block of Georgia Ave., NW
October 7: 4300 block of Wisconsin Ave., NW and 3400 block of Connecticut Ave., NW
October 11: 300 block of Hawaii Ave., NW
October 12: 3700 block of 12th St., NE
October 13: 1700 block of Columbia Rd., NW and 1500 block of Independence Ave., NE
Police say store employees found the card skimmers in eight of the incidents, and officers found one of the devices while conducting a business check.
When the incidents began in September, MPD warned customers to take certain precautions when using their cards to make purchases:
- Make sure the device isn’t able to be moved or budges when touched
- Compare your machine to the one next to you, if applicable
- Check the alignment of the card reader and the panel underneath it
- Look inside of the card reader before inserting your card
- If you see or suspect a card skimmer, please contact police immediately at 911
- Notify your bank immediately if you suspect you have been a victim of card skimming
They are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for any information that leads to the suspects’ arrest and indictment.