Crook goes on $5K Shopping Spree at CS Family's Expense

By  | 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A College Station family says someone went on a several-thousand dollar shopping spree and left them to pay the bill.

It's something Jennifer Yarbrough thought could never happen to her.

"My husband came in, I was changing the baby after a bath, and he said we have a problem," said Yarbrough.

Yarbrough and her husband looked over a recent bank statement and noticed around $5,000 in charges to her husband's debit card made at several different stores in New Orleans.

"Obviously, this gentleman knows he wasn't in New Orleans making purchases exceeding five hundred dollars," said Bill McGuire with the Better Business Bureau of Brazos Valley.

McGure said the family may have been the victim of card skimming.

"If it is skimming, it's hard to prevent," said McGuire.

A skimmer is a device crooks place over a credit card slot at places like gas station pumps or parking garage pay stations. In most cases, you won't even notice it's there.

When a credit or debit card is slid inside the card slot, the magnetic information from the back is recorded. The crook is left with everything needed to make a duplicate card with a different name.

McGuire said there is a way to spot a skimmer and keep your credit card information safe.

"Grab a hold of right where you insert that card," said McGuire. "If there's a skimmer, it will be just inside of there and you can see it. And you can yank on it and pull it right out."

Yarbrough said she called her bank and will likely not be responsible for the charges, but her sense of security is not so easily replaced.

"We just had a baby in December, so money is tight and we have to be very careful with it," said Yarbrough. "So to see that somebody went on a shopping spree with our money that we're so careful with, it was disheartening."

McGuire said it's a good idea to check your bank account often and look for unusual charges. If you think something is wrong, contact your bank and police as soon as possible