With a simple swipe, Tami Nealy stole all that she needed to copy a credit card.
With a second swipe, she put all that information on an innocuous-looking white plastic card.
It was a demonstration held for more than three dozen law enforcement officers from all around Colorado put on by LifeLock, a identity theft protection company, on Wednesday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Nealy said Colorado is ranked first by the Federal Trade Commission for fraud complaints. She added Greeley is second among cities in the country for ID theft, and five cities -- Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Boulder and Fort Collins -- rank in the top 35.
The easiest way thieves are stealing financial information and making counterfeit credit cards are card swipers that are then attached onto legitimate card readers, such as those at ATMs and gas pumps.
Nealy said the swipers can be found simply by going on Craigslist.
Nealy said there are several steps consumers can take to protect themselves.
"If you're using a credit card, you're much safer than using a debit card," she said. "Because that's a line of credit that has been issued to you. And you have 60 days to report that fraud to the lender. If it's your debit card, that's linked to direct funds that you've earned, that are in your account. If somebody takes that, you only have 30 days to report that."
She also said it is good to get a free annual credit report to make sure your credit score hasn't been damaged by unknown charges.
"You've given your information out to every doctor, dentist, employer, credit card company," Nealy said. "People give it out to the grocery store. Who knows where you've given it to, and what are they doing to keep it secured?"
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