This holiday, you may be invited to happy hour with coworkers or a get together among your closest friends at a local night club or bar. It’s a convenient way for everyone to meet up and unwind without the stress of hosting a holiday get together in your home. Yet, did you know that identity theft can happen in a night club or bar too? Well, it really can with identity thieves aggressively using skimming tactics to lift credit information from credit cards.
I happened to have been victim of this fraudulent technique a few months ago when I was invited to a birthday party at a bar. I didn’t carry cash with me and upon my arrival at the club I was asked to pay the standard cover charge. The host at the door entrance suggested I leave my driver’s license with her and to go inside the club to use the ATM machine. I didn’t think anything odd about it and carried along my business. I paid my way into the bar and the host returned my driver’s license.
After that weekend, I looked up my online banking account and I noticed fraudulent charges for 300 dollars worth of gas at gas stations in an area where I don’t live or visit. I felt violated and was so upset for not being more cautious, especially since I happen to be a part of an industry that fights against identity theft.
I’m sharing this story because I want people to know that identity theft can happen to anyone, at anytime, in any place. Also, keep in mind, this is the time of year when thieves are aggressively on the outlook for their next victim and it could be at the next hot spot.
What would you suggest I should have done to avoid being a fraud victim? What are steps you recommend I do to prevent future fraud?