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Credit Card Theft: What to Do If It Happens to You

The Better Business Bureau is warning Virginians about a new scam. It's called shimming it’s a way scammers can obtain access to your credit or debit card information, even if it has a chip reader.

Shimming is when a scammer would insert what's called a shim into the slot where you enter the chip side of your credit or debit card at a payment terminal. A shim is a paper-thin, card-sized device with an embedded microchip and flash drive that copies and saves your payment information on it.

The BBB says if your card does slide in easily to a payment terminal to be on alert, and consider canceling the transaction.

If You Suspect Identity Theft

The Virginia Office of the Attorney General has tips for those who think they be a victim of identity theft. People who suspect identity theft are encouraged to take the following actions:

  • Inform your bank or credit union, credit card company, and any one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or Trans Union);
  • File a criminal complaint with your local police or sheriff’s department;
  • File a file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) If you fall victim to identity theft while using the Internet;
  • Contact the Virginia to request an Identity Theft Passport and/or an Identity Theft Affidavit.

Identity Theft Passport

The Identity Theft Passport is a card that can be obtained at the Office of the Attorney General that victims of identity theft can carry and present to law enforcement or other individuals who request to confirm your identity. One of the purposes of the Passport is to hopefully prevent instances in which a victim of identity theft is unlawfully arrested or detained. The Passport is available to any Virginia resident who has filed a police report claiming that they are a victim of identity theft, or has a court order expunging a criminal record that was the result of identity crime

Identity Theft Affidavit

The Identity Theft Affidavit is also available to victims of identity theft if they are in a dispute with creditors or businesses regarding fraudulent debts and accounts opened by an identity thief. The purpose of the Identity Theft Affidavit is to alert businesses about the fraud. The company can then investigate the fraud and evaluate your claim. The Identity Theft Affidavit can be downloaded on the website for the Virginia Office of the Attorney General.