Recently a number of people in Iowa became victims of identity theft.  Investigating police found they had one thing in common.   They had all eaten at the same restaurant and paid by credit card.  Although the crime is still under investigation, the most likely culprit is a rogue employee who obtained the credit card numbers through the use of a small electronic device called a “skimmer.”  This device which is about the size of a deck of cards can be used by an identity thief to read all of the information on a person’s credit card.  Generally when you present your credit card for payment, the criminal will swipe the card through the skimmer as well as through the legitimate machine to process your purchase.


As much as possible keep an eye on your credit card in restaurants and stores to make sure it is not swiped through a skimmer.  Also, make sure that you carefully go through your credit card statements each month to pick up if you have become a victim of identity theft so that you can report it and have the charges removed from your card.