Beware: Credit Card Skimmer in Claycord

June 13, 2014 18:00 pm · 27 comments

A credit card skimmer has once again taken advantage of a Claycordian.

Read the note below from the anonymous victim….

Late yesterday afternoon around 4:45 I went to Safeway on Contra Costa Blvd. (near the mall) and purchased a few items.

I used by debit card to purchase the items and then met a friend for dinner at BJs. When I went to pay the check at BJs, my card was declined.

Knowing I had enough funds in the account and had just used it, I realized something must be wrong.

I luckily had enough cash to pay the bill and went home.

Within a couple of minutes of getting home (around 7:00 p.m.) I had a call regarding fraudulent activity on my debit card. From 5:00 p.m. until 6:45 someone had charged numerous items at Home Goods and Victoria Secret. They also tried to charge at few other stores in the mall, but by then the card was disabled.

After speaking with the fraud department they said I more than likely was the victim of skimming. I still had my card in my possession, but they had enough info to create a new card with my pin number. I am lucky to belong to Travis Credit Union and will go get a new card this afternoon and hopefully the charges that are pending will be reversed.

I just wanted everyone to be aware that your personal information is not safe anywhere!

Thanks for the heads-up, sorry you were victimized.

debc June 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM

was it self service or did someone check you out

Dorothy June 13, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Did they also let Safeway know their equipment had a scanner on it?

Good to know your debit card carrier was on the ball with that too.

Tom June 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Skimming is scary. It can happen to anyone, and there’s nothing you can do to protect yourself. Unless you want to pay cash.

When I use my debit card (daily), I run it through as a credit. I’ve never used a pin number, and never will.

Without a pin number, this can’t happen to you. I think.

Old Fashioned Cash June 13, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Many cards in use in Canada, Mexico and most of Western Europe have microchips embedded in the card resulting in secure transactions.

This another example of why non chipped debit or credit cards should not be used. Some companies require NO signature or ID below a certain dollar amount. They don’t want to spend the money for secure transactions

Fraud is viewed by card companies as simply a cost of doing business.

Until consumer use of unsecured cards drops off card issuers flat won’t care.

Miss Ranchogirl June 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

are you saying Safeway had a scanner attached to the terminal?
Did you tell safeway?

This is very scary.

Eddie Spaghetti June 13, 2014 at 7:25 PM

This world is goin’ to Hell in a handbasket!!…..[angry]

ClayDen June 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM

This is why I rarely use my debit card, rather I use my credit card and have limited financial exposure (and I get frequent flyer miles too).

anon June 13, 2014 at 7:32 PM

I doubt the skimmer was at safeway. Unless the person who put the skimmer there went and got it immediately after she used her card. Skimmers hold hundreds, or thousands of credit card numbers. People who use them usually leave them on a machine for longer than an hour or 2.

KAD June 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Tom, They can use it as credit just like you do.

Tom June 13, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Kad, that’s probably true. I believe not using a PIN minimizes the risk, but thanks for the info.

Ven Xeter June 13, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Who is this day in age doesn’t know you should never use a debit card for a purchase? It is common knowledge that when compared to a credit card a debit card user has fewer rights, greater liability, and a longer resolution time if fraud does occur.

Open Your Eyes June 13, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Not likely they skimmed your card at Safeway then quickly made a new one and swiftly hit the stores close by all within a two hour period. They most likely obtained the number and pin elsewhere, along with hundreds of others …..

Schmee June 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Many skimmers wait months before using skimmed cards. It reduces the likelyhood of discovering where the cards were skimmed.

Mother of 3 June 14, 2014 at 8:20 AM

This does not show there is a skimmer in Claycord for sure…I’m assuming you tried to notify Safeway and they of course they found no skimmers at their check stands, Most likely they got your number somewhere other than Safeway. Last place you got gas? Something you bought online in the last week? Just because they just tried to use the number doesn’t mean they just got it within the hour,

Hold on there Professor June 14, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Scary stuff and common at that but be careful about the assumptions you make before posting something like this to scare fellow claycordians.

I see no evidence at all that connects this to Safeway.

Anon June 14, 2014 at 9:54 AM

A few months ago I spoke to a teller at Wells Fargo (when the whole Target fiasco happened) and she told me that it is better to swipe your card as a debit vs a credit credit card because you have to use your pin, but she said regardless, with Well Fargo you have 100% protection and if anything happens they will replace all of your lost funds.

Teacher Wannabe June 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM

@11. I use my debit card a lot. Never had a problem. If you do by credit you can’t get cash back. Sometimes you need cash. Plus I doubt it happened at safeway. If anyone was seen fidgeting with a terminal it would draw attention. Same thingfat gas stations. The card was probably compromised earlier in the day or before.

auntigommy June 14, 2014 at 4:19 PM

PERSONALLY, I would not give Safeway so much credit. I had two (2) checks “washed” after writing them both within a weeks time at the Willow Pass store. The manager did nothing and couldn’t be bothered!! My bank ( B of A) made them good.

jk June 14, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I am a Travis Credit union person and was concerned about me using my debit card at safeway…I was reassured if my debit card is compromised
and a thief scans your information from you…alll you do is contact them…and they will handle…you will not be out of money from this problem…but was told it maybe a good idea to have your personal information not in a wallet that can get scanned…but in a special wallet that is lined so the information is not taken from you…you have to be one up on these bad people that want everything the easy way…to take from you so they do not have to work…grrrr

Subterfuge June 14, 2014 at 7:19 PM

The use of your card at Safeway likely had no bearing on your card being pirated. It takes time to get the info and make a new card.

I hear the same June 14, 2014 at 8:33 PM

If you have the cards with chips embedded in them, somebody can pick up your info without the card even leaving your wallet.

Unless you get one of those wallets with a metal lining.

Sam Y June 14, 2014 at 9:19 PM

TOM # 3 is correct. NEVER use the PIN pad. Always select the CREDIT button. Then they wont have your PIN number. I learned this from my Bank (also a Credit Union)!!!

What Security June 14, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Ways to avoid it.

I. never have a ATM attached to a Visa.
2. replace it for a debt card only
Why the cash comes out of your checking account
3. Use a bank Visa card for all your purchases.
4. Transfer later what you spent

Your money gone from your checking account means bills don’t get paid.
The banks money being ripped out (their Visa) They won’t let it happen.

BBB June 15, 2014 at 2:30 AM


Those are RFID chips, which nobody uses anymore for that exact reason. Seriously, who thought that RFID would be a good idea? It saves you like what? 4 seconds?

The chip being discussed are the EMV chips which are embedded into the card and require a swipe and PIN in order to do purchases. Most international nations have this technology and it is much more secure. Some card issuer are offering it in the USA, but it’s going to be a while before it is fully adopted. If you travel internationally a lot it might be worth looking into.

Dude June 15, 2014 at 9:49 AM

When my CC had fraudulent activity it was caught because the transactions were being conducted concurrently at a different location. Did it Travis tell you if the transactions were local? I’ll bet they were not, otherwise it would not have appeared to be suspicious. When ever I have activity that is questionable I’ll get a call from my bank to review the last 5-10 transactions, it tells me the vendor, date, purchase amount, and location. Location is usually the give away for me as it’s often hard to remember all of the other details.

Alisha June 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I also went to Safeway on contra costa ( next to the mall) and used a card for gas there that I NEVER use. My credit card called me for the charges hotels, boardwalk. I called Safeway and he said they check the machines every morning. I told him I NEVER use the card and he said well it’s not from us and got off he phone. Now I am second guessing my decision to not purse this farther with them.

mg June 16, 2014 at 7:59 AM

It didn’t happen at Safeway (inside the store) — far too may eyes to install a skimmer. 73% likelihood that it happened at a gas station, 19% via an online transaction and 8% at a stand-alone ATM (like in 7-11).

Lesson: Don’t use your ATM card anywhere other than a real bank’s ATM (preferably your own).

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