1OO’S of Victims $100’s

Skimming Credit / Debit Cards

in Big Bear Valley

The San Bernardino County -Big Bear Sheriff as recent as Tuesday March 21, 2017, has received numerous calls for service, reporting unauthorized and fraudulent use of credit /debit cards.  Local Sheriff Deputies are working diligently with the Big Bear Detective Bureau in an ongoing investigation to identify the source of the fraud.  It is believed a skimming device is being used to capture credit and debit card information from unsuspecting victims.  The unidentified suspects are then using victim information to fraudulently withdraw money from bank accounts and to make online charges.  

Skimmers are malicious card readers that record data from the magnetic strip on a credit or bank card.  They can be attached to legitimate payment terminals or used wirelessly to gather data from credit card swipes.  Criminals then use the stolen data to make fraudulent charges either online or with a counterfeit credit card.   

Victims of card skimming are often unaware of the theft until they receive a billing statement or overdraft notice from the bank.  It is important for consumers to monitor checking and credit card accounts online at least weekly and to immediately notify the bank or credit card issuer of suspicious activity. 

Fraud alerts can be placed on individual credit reports by contacting TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, a consumer can request any one of these three national credit reporting companies to put a fraud alert on their credit report and they must notify the other two companies. 

An initial fraud alert lasts 90 days and can be renewed at its expiration.  Contact information for credit reporting companies is listed below:

TransUnion – (800) 680-7289

 Experian – (888) 397-3742

Equifax – (888) 766-0008

REPORT:  Credit/Debit Card Victims are also urged to report skimming incidents to their local law enforcement agency.  To report Fraud Incidents contact the San Bernardino County -Big Bear Sheriff at (909) 866-0100.



Sheriff Captain Brad Toms

Sheriff Department – Big Bear Lake

477 Summit Boulevard

Big Bear Lake, California 92315

(909) 866-0100