Just when you thought it safe to use your credit and debit cards, another wave of scammers are active in Washington State.

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This is a statewide problem, not just a regional one. We've been on guard at the gas pumps for the last few years as credit card overlays would be placed over the card readers at your favorite gas station to steal your credit card number and/or PIN.

Photo J Pat Carter Getty Images/Canva
Photo J Pat Carter Getty Images/Canva
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The latest discovery happened in Everett when the Everett Police Department posted on their Facebook page about an overlay that was discovered at a retail establishment.  Overlays look exactly like the real card reader and covers everything except the screen.  In this case, it was an ingenico card reader that was compromised.

Photo Everett Police Facebook
Photo Everett Police Facebook
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The Everett Police revealed that this skimmer has Bluetooth capability, so it can be accessed by the data thieves as long as they are in proximity.  They don't need to find a way to retrieve the skimmer to get your info, they just need to be within signal range to download your credit card number and/or PIN.

Ways You Can Avoid Your Data Being Stolen

There are some tips to help prevent your financial info from being compromised:

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Canva
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  1. Pull on the Point of Sale device or card reader to make sure their isn't an overlay.
  2. ATMs outside of banks and financial institutions have been targeted by scammers so use the ATM inside the bank if you plan on taking out cash.
  3. Set up alerts through email or text to notify you if transactions over a certain amount of money are made.
  4. Monitor your transactions online to verify you made them.
  5. If you suspected you might be a fraud victim, call the number on the bank of your card.
  6. If you find out you are a victim of fraud, file a police report.
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It gets tougher and tougher to protect your data as scammers and hackers are coming up with new ways to steal it.  Being aware and alert of the ways your information can be stolen will go a long way to making sure you aren't a victim.

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