Next time you’re debating whether to pay for dinner with cash or credit card, recall this story. A couple is charged with skimming more than a hundred credit cards of customers at the Manhattan restaurant where the couple previously worked. No doubt, this is not something you need to worry about with the vast majority of restaurant staff members. However, it only takes one bad apple to make you a victim of credit card fraud.
As reported by the New York Post, Nigel McCollum, 22, and Lenica Greene, 23, were arrested on July 19, 2013. The couple allegedly stole the numbers from customers at Pret A Manger, described as a trendy chain restaurant in Chelsea. At the time of their arrest, police discovered in McCollum’s Washington Heights apartment equipment used to make credit cards, credit card skimmers, embossers, and encoders. Arraigned separately, both McCollum and Greene pled not guilty to 602 counts of grand larceny, forgery, identity theft, and other charges.
May this story serve as any further incentive you may need to pay with cash as often as possible.
If you are going to pay with a credit card, only do so in situations where the card does not leave your sight. Obviously, this does not apply to most restaurant situations. Exceptions are restaurants where you pay a cashier directly, either before or after the meal.
You should also be mindful of using a credit card at gas pumps, parking garages, ATM’s, and anywhere else that thieves may install skimmers for stealing your credit card information.