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BBB: Scammers stealing money from bank accounts, a few dollars at a time

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

American shoppers say they are very concerned about the safety of their personal information following security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus.

However, a new poll says most are not doing anything about it.

The Associated Press/Gfk Poll shows they are not changing their shopping habits or taking steps to make sure their information is secure.

The Poll shows Americans aren't using cash more often or checking their credit reports or requesting new credit or debit card numbers from their banks.

Just 41 percent checked their credit reports since the computer hackings.

Even fewer changed their online passwords.

Now there's a new warning about the way scammers could hit your bank account.

They are counting on you not noticing a small charge to your account--$9.35, for example.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has put out an alert.

"Across the country we've heard from consumer who are discovering small charges on their debit card and credit card statements," says BBB Tucson Spokesperson Nick LaFleur.

"They might be for $8.00, $9.00, something like that. It could say something like 'Support Services'--some kind of vague company. And what we're finding is that scammers are just making little charges on people's cards once a month. You know. Once a month. Once very other month. Something like that," LaFleur says.

Those small charges are exactly how scammers can fly under the radar to steal your money.

That alarmed Tucsonan Amber Pherigo who says she will now check her accounts more often.

"I don't even get a statement any more. Everything's electronic and I rarely look at it--just to check my balance. I don't look at every transaction unless there's something off," Pherigo says.

"Technology's made it easy with apps and I do look online too.  Mostly the apps is a really quick way to check your balance," says Tucsonan Wyatt Saul.

"I have apps. I go online. I probably don't check it as often as I should, but I try to stay on top of it," says Tucsonan Chuck Stopani.

The BBB says that's what consumers are finding. They have to stay on top of it.

Banks and credit unions are looking for things such as larger amounts being charged or for charges made in various cities at the same time.

The BBB says they might not be looking for those small transactions, but you should.

Scammers could be making those little charges and you might never know unless you check.

The BBB advises we all sign up for online banking if we can, if for nothing else than, to be able to regularly check our accounts.

"Just do it every day, every other day. Take a glance. Take a look at the charges, make sure you remember making all those purchases. And if you see something that looks a little weird, even if it's only for five or six bucks, that you don't remember doing, call your bank up. Ask them about it," LaFleur advises.

He says, with scammers able to steal information from millions of accounts at a time, those little charges can really pay off for them.

"So, it's better to just keep tabs on it. That doesn't mean you mean you have to check it every day, every hour, or anything like that. But just on a regular basis, kind of just know what's going on with your account. Don't wait for the statement at the end of each month," LaFleur says.

He advises, when in doubt, cancel your bank cards, and get new ones.

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