ELECTRONIC THEFT: A card-skimming device.
ELECTRONIC THEFT: A card-skimming device. Contributed

Card skimmers on the rise in Bundy

WHEN a Bundaberg mother quickly stopped to buy medication and food for her infant she never thought she'd be prayed upon by criminals.

But two short stops at the supermarket has left Cath Havea worried about how easily others can steal; she was a victim of card skimming.

On June 2 Ms Havea went to Hinkler Central where she shopped at both Woolworths and Terry White Chemist.

Ms Havea said it all happened quite fast and she wasn't even aware of it until she returned home and saw her bank account online.

In the 45 minutes she was in the centre somehow her bank card had its information stolen and $100 was taken from her account.

She said it may not be a significant amount but it impacted her small family and she now wanted to make sure other didn't fall victim.

"It's just a shame that this kind of thing happens,” she said.

"We barely make ends as it is.

"So to have someone have someone take the little you have impacts us quite a lot.”

Credit card skimming is a form of card theft where criminals use a small device know as a skimmer to steal card information from legitimate places of business.

The skimming devices can be attached to ATMs or designed to look like a proper card reader.

According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association 2015 Fraud Report, domestic counterfeit and skimming fraud cost Australians $6.4m that year and out of the total $168.8 million Australian-issued card fraud that took place domestically.

Ms Havea said she took to Facebook to warn others and more Bundaberg people came forward saying it had also happened to them.

"We hadn't even heard of it happening here in Bundaberg until recently,” she said.

"It baffles me that people can come up with elaborate ways to steal.

"It is scary to think someone can easily access your finances without your knowledge or consent.”

The family have spoken to its financial institution and they are working together to try to recoup the money.

Since the incident Ms Havea has invested in a cover to protect her from being card skimmed again.

"It's a small slip that just pops over your card,” she said.

"This prevents anyone from walking past you with these skimming devices and removing funds from your account.”

The family have also changed the way they bank by keeping only the necessary money needed in the bank account attached to the bank card.

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