RAYNE, La. (KPEL News) - Once again, residents in south Louisiana will need to pay attention when using their credit cards in some stores. A pair of men were arrested in Rayne, Louisiana last week as part of a fraud scheme targeting credit card machines in Louisiana.

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Back in November, Acadia Parish law enforcement agencies were investigating a series of incidents involving skimmers found in the area, and while it's not a new issue, it is the latest situation that is keeping Louisiana shoppers on their toes.

Last week, a pair of Romanian men named Johan Skov and Martin Ramunssen were arrested by Rayne police, KADN reports.

According to a Facebook post on the Rayne police department's website, investigators found "around 30 payment cards with reloaded stolen credit card numbers hidden in a compartment within the vehicle's dash."

"Further investigation revealed that the Italian and Danish identifications presented were fake," the post noted. "he individuals, who initially identified themselves as Johan Skov and Martin Ramunssen, are suspected to be Romanian nationals currently in the U.S. illegally. The two males were arrested and are being held without bond."

How to Avoid Skimmers

According to Time Magazine, "Credit card skimmers are physical—often bulky—apparatuses that you should be able to spot."

"Some skimmers appear uncannily official, whether they’re a simple extension inserted into the credit card reader or an intricate shell that covers the entire terminal," their article explains. "The easiest way to detect a credit card skimmer is to yank, pull, and tug. Before you put your card into a point-of-sale terminal, wiggle a few parts of the machine to see if anything is loose."

Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed by a credit card skimmer.

1. Inspect the card reader: Before using an ATM or card reader, check for any signs of tampering, such as loose parts or unusual attachments.


2. Use trusted sources: Stick to ATMs and card readers from reputable banks or businesses rather than using unfamiliar or standalone machines.


3. Cover your PIN: Shield your PIN entry from view to prevent it from being captured by hidden cameras or bystanders.


4. Be cautious of unusual devices: Avoid using card readers that look suspicious, have mismatched colors or materials, or seem out of place.


5. Check for security features: Look for security stickers or seals on card readers, which can indicate that the machine has not been tampered with.


6. Monitor your accounts: Regularly review your bank statements and transaction history for any unauthorized or suspicious activity.


7. Use contactless payment methods: Consider using contactless payment options like mobile wallets or tap-to-pay cards, which can minimize the risk of card skimming.


8. Report suspicious activity: If you suspect that a card reader has been tampered with or if you notice any unauthorized charges on your account, report it to your bank or card issuer immediately.

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In short: use trusted ATMs, check for tampering, and cover your PIN. Be wary of strange-looking devices and always monitor your account for unusual activity. Stick to using contactless payment methods when possible, and report any suspicious activity to your bank right away.

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