HONOLULU, Hawaii (KHON2) – The Better Business Bureau says con artists are using “e-skimming” to steal credit card data from online shoppers.

The scammer will hack reputable businesses to steal personal information from customers.

“They’re going into businesses systems and planting malware and that way they can steal that information about your credit card and everybody else’s through the company,” said Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau Hawaii Marketplace Manager.

The BBB says consumers won’t know their information was compromised until the company discovers the breach. In other cases, they’ll only find out after the scammer uses their credit card.

“Look at your statements and say ‘does that transaction look correct’ and if it doesn’t then you immediately call the number on the back of your credit card. Let them know exactly what’s happened so they can immediately put a freeze on that card.”

To prevent falling victim to e-skimming, avoid using debit cards for online shopping.

“Use your credit card. Debit cards, yes you can dispute the transaction but it takes longer and the money is gone until they’ve done their investigation. So always use your credit card.”

Some banks and credit card companies also offer virtual credit cards that may provide higher security.

“Now we have a new thing called a virtual card and it’s a virtual card that you use for these transactions. They’re checking if they see anything that’s suspicious that doesn’t look right. They immediately stop all charges on that card.”

To learn more about e-skimming and how to protect yourself from the scam, click here.

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