Crooks targeting back-to-school tax-free weekend shoppers

Posted at 8:54 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 23:14:37-04

Experts are warning shoppers taking advantage of the tax-free holiday to keep a close eye on their bottom line.

Using credit or debit cards instead of cash makes you an easier target to scammers.

"I would anticipate that the criminals will use this holiday to possibly put a skimmer close in proximity to where people will be shopping," Sgt. Diane Young of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said.

She works in the sheriff's office economic crimes unit, and said to check the gas pumps and ATMs near where you shop for skimmers.

Sgt. Young also said crooks can even buy cheap skimmers they keep in their own pockets.

"If you're carrying your cards in your wallet, or ladies in their purse, if that skimmer is within six inches of it and you haven't protected yourself, they can read thenumbers and information they need," Sgt. Young said.

Sgt. Young said economic crimes like these are doubling in cases each year, and said you can protect yourself by wrapping your cards in aluminum foil, and use ATMs inside businesses because they're less likely to be tampered with.