Times-Tribune Staff Report
Barbourville Police Chief Mike Broughton said Thursday an identity theft tactic may have made its way into the region.
Law enforcement reports recent activities of card skimmers at gas stations and banks. These are small, thin readers that capture the information on credit or debit cards as they are swiped through card readers.
Broughton suggests debit and credit card users, before swiping the card, inspect the card readers to ensure the card skimmers are not there.
If a card swiper appears to be tampered with, or have an addition which does not match the reader, or other odd characteristics, go inside to use the reader and notify a store employee.
Broughton also wants residents to be wary of scams, explaining the Drug Enforcement Agency said scammers are posing as DEA agents in the region. According to reports these individuals have obtained addresses for persons who have ordered medications using the internet.
Once at the victim’s residence, these fake DEA agents use the pretense of being there in relation to an investigation, but instead target their victims for thefts.
Broughton said if anyone comes to any residence and is not wearing a readily-identifiable uniform, ask to see a badge and/or department identification.
If anyone still feels wary with the identity of a person representing themselves as law enforcement verify their identity and call local law enforcement. If these persons then leave, attempt to obtain a license plate number (if it is safe to do so) and notify police.
He also said people should be cautious during the holiday season, as identity theft rises during this time of year. When shopping, Broughton suggests always being aware of who and what is around you. He said an elderly woman was recently a victim of a purse-snatching at a local retail store.