The Ohio Lottery recently retrofitted 6,000 of its self-service vending machines to accept cashless payments. Now, consumers can purchase lottery tickets from these machines with credit and debit cards and e-wallet payments. Some critics of this move fear that making lottery tickets more accessible is bad for Ohio gambling addicts. However, critics cite a different kind of risk that may threaten all consumers who use debit or credit cards to purchase lottery tickets from self-service vending machines. In spite of attempts to stop the practice, fraudsters still use increasingly sophisticated card skimmers to steal payment information from Ohio consumers. These skimmers are frequently found on gas pump and ATM card readers. So, it seems likely that scam artists could attack lottery ticket vending machines next.
How Ohio Consumers Can Protect Themselves when Using Credit Cards at Self-Service Lottery Ticket Vending Machines
Even though debit and credit cards are now accepted by Ohio Lottery self-service vending machines, individual retailers in Ohio may still refuse card payments. Credit card companies may also ban any type of gambling-associated purchases with issued cards. For example, consumers cannot use American Express cards to purchase lottery tickets in any state.
Next, the Ohio Lottery limits lottery ticket purchases to $100 per card, per day. The organization put this limit in place to protect gambling addicts against spending too much too quickly. Yet, it is unclear as to what precautions the Ohio Lottery will take against potential card skimmers. Therefore, all Ohio consumers who use their payment cards in these machines should take a few precautions.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
If your credit card issuer allows for lottery ticket purchases in Ohio, use this card instead of your debit card at self-service vending machines. Luckily, most credit cards have built-in fraud protection. So, even if fraudsters compromise your credit card with a skimmer, your liability is very limited. On the other hand, if a scammer steals your debit card data, they can very quickly drain your bank account. Then, even if you can recoup all or most of your funds, it could take time.
Only purchase lottery tickets from vending machines placed in heavily staffed, well-lit areas.
Even though most fraudsters and identity thieves who use credit card skimmers are very good at what they do, installing the devices still takes time. For this reason, scammers usually install skimmers on unattended machines. All Ohio consumers should take a good look at the lottery ticket vending machines in their favorite stores. Are they located in places usually inhabited by employees? If not, consumers should avoid using them. It is also a good idea to steer clear of free-standing Ohio Lottery self-service vending machines when using debit or credit cards.
Never use a card in a machine that looks tampered-with in any way.
Credit card skimmers normally fit right over actual card readers, and the sophisticated ones are fairly difficult to detect. Credit card shimmers – which are used to steal data from EMV-chipped cards – go inside of card reading devices, so they are even harder for Ohio consumers to spot. However, it never hurts to check. This applies to any card reader you might use – at the gas station, ATM, or lottery ticket vending machine. Look carefully at the credit card slot, and make sure that it isn’t wobbly. If you have any doubts whatsoever, it never hurts to find a different, safer looking machine.
Regularly check your financial statements and credit reports for signs of suspicious activity.
Whether you use Ohio Lottery self-service vending machines or not, you should check all of your financial and credit information on a regular basis. This is especially true these days, with big data breaches happening everywhere. Hackers, scammers, and identity thieves use many different means to steal your money and private data, so you should take every possible safety precaution.
Most Ohio consumers have instant online access to credit card and bank statements, so you can easily check these daily. As for your credit reports, experts recommend requesting copies of your reports from the three major credit bureaus at least once every 12 months. This is how frequently the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to free copies of your credit reports.
How Ohio Consumers Can Protect Themselves Against Fraud and Identity Theft by Checking their Credit Reports
The easiest way to request free copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all at once is to visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Then, once you have your most recent credit reports, look them over carefully. If you see fraudulent accounts opened in your name or unauthorized transactions, file a police report immediately.
Next, contact the Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C. Often, Ohio consumers find it difficult to repair their credit reports on their own after fraud or identity theft. Unfortunately, creditors and the credit bureaus don’t cooperate well with consumers, and these organizations make the recovery process difficult. This is where we can help.
Our team of credit pros knows how to deal with creditors and the credit bureaus, so we can make the credit repair process faster and easier. You’ll also get the advantage of an experienced credit attorney who will do whatever it takes to get all signs of fraud and identity theft removed from your credit reports – for free.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft in Ohio
Don’t let fraudulent accounts and charges on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At the Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C., we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (216) 358-0591 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/ohio/fix-identity-theft/.