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Credit card chip fraud in the Central Valley

Sgt. Brian Rogers, who heads the Financial Crimes Unit at the Fresno Police Department, says thieves in the valley are getting smarter. They're using something called a 'Shimmer'. (MGN Online photo)

That chip on your credit card is supposed to be a good security device, but now crooks have a way to use it to steal from you.

It's a new device that uses the chip to take your money.

Credit card fraud hits thousands of people in the valley every month, like Carlos Ramirez.

"They were taking a little bit of amounts like two dollars then they took $200 in San Diego and I wasn't even in San Diego I was in Fresno at the time and I called it in," said Ramirez.

And clearing that up, is a mess.

"It took me like a month to get my money back and it was my bill money, which made it even worse," said Ramirez.

The chip on credit and debit cards issued by banks are supposed to be safer to use than older magnetic swipe cards. Sgt. Brian Rogers, who heads the Financial Crimes Unit at the Fresno Police Department, says thieves in the valley are getting smarter. They're using something called a 'Shimmer'.

"A very thin piece of metal that's inserted inside of an ATM card reader. It goes into the regular card slot that shimmer is just below where that card goes through. It reads the information from you card, all of your transactions occur as normal," said Sgt. Rodgers.

The crooks get your personal information from the chip. Then they make a new card and put all of that information on its magnetic strip.

"They are very inexpensive to make and they take a sim card like on your cell phone and they use that for the storage. It is very small and compact but you have to be very sophisticated to make it work. It's not your every day crook doing this its someone who has some knowledge," said Sgt. Rodgers "

For months, the device can go unnoticed. Which is why, you should take steps to protect yourself.

"You need to get on the internet, put a fraud alert in your account start utilizing one of the services like life lock or identity theft guard," said Sgt. Rodgers "

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