A BALLARAT woman whose cheque account was cleaned out in an alleged card skimming scam fears other Ballarat residents are at risk.
Joanne Bardelmeyer claims she had $250 skimmed from her account this week.
She was alerted to the activity by her bank when they noticed a suspicious transaction from her account to another one in Turkey.
Card skimming involves the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card.
Card skimmers compromise ATM and EFTPOS machine to obtain their victims’ details.
Ms Bardelmeyer, a busy mother of two, said she frequently used ATM’s all over Ballarat so there was no way of knowing where the skimming had occurred.
“It’s freaky and all I can think is they’ve got my name,” she said.
“It makes me wonder how many people it’s happening to.
“I reckon it’s happened here because I haven’t been out of Ballarat in the last few weeks.”
Ms Bardelmeyer will get the money back – the bank does not hold her liable for its loss – but in the meantime she’s had to cancel her cards and account numbers, and has struggled to pay her bills. She wants to make the wider community aware of the issue.
A spokesperson for Consumer Affairs Victoria said skimming occurred where criminals had placed a card reading device in or over the card slot of an ATM machine.
Once they have skimmed a card, they can create a fake or ‘cloned’ card with individual details on it. The scammer is then able to run up charges on an account.
“Card skimming is also a way for scammers to steal individual identities and use it to commit identity fraud,” the spokesperson said.
“If you have seen, or been a victim of card skimming, then you should contact your bank, credit union or credit card provider.
“It should also be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”