BRISTOL, Tenn. - Every time you swipe your credit or debit card you could be the next victim of identity theft, a problem that is on the rise in the Tri-Cities.
The Bristol, Tenn. Police Department says they handle these types of cases on a daily basis.
One victim says, "I got a call on Monday. It was my Master Card, Tuesday my debit card, and Wednesday my Visa."
Lt. Debbie Richmond of the Bristol, Tenn. Police Department says, "We see victims get their identity stolen and someone may even go out and get a loan and buy a house in someone else's name, and if you don't check your credit report you may not ever know it."
An important thing to remember to prevent a scam like this from happening to you is to check your bank statement frequently and your credit report at least once a year.
Police tell us it is also important to never give out any personal information and when using a card at a gas station or an ATM make sure no one is standing too close.
Hackers are always looking for a way to scam so make sure you shred your mail before you throw it out. "You as the consumer, the victim need to make sure you protect yourself," says Lt. Richmond.
As a consumer you have to be on guard; you never know when you might be the next target.
A victim of identity theft says, "You wonder if there is any way they could have your address, if they could have that type of information you don't know what exactly they do have."
If you suspect that your accounts have been compromised contact the police and you card issuer.