I think too often people here in SWLA become too complacent with our seemingly comfortable city, but when you check the crime statistics of Lake Charles, you get a very different view of the city!

So throw away those rose-colored glasses and get with the times!  The easiest way to be taken advantage of is when you don't know you're being taken advantage of until it's too late!

The 4 Riskiest Places To Use Your Debit/Credit Card In SWLA:

1.  ATMs that aren't associated with an actual bank.  These ATMs are easier to hack into their system and more likely to have a card skimmer that a theive attached to it to steal your information.

2.  Gas pumps.  These are the most popular place for thieves to attach a card skimmer.  Make sure you inspect the pump card reader before you swipe or just go pay inside the station while you're grabbing a honey bun...or 2...

3.  Restaurants.  These are one of the few places left where someone else will run your card for a transaction.  It's easy for the waiter to have a small card reader with them or take a photo of your card for later nefarious purchases.

In fact, I had my debit card compromised from a local restaurant here in Lake Charles, well I can't be 100 percent on that statement, but our bank said that around 20 other customers reported fraudulent charges on their accounts at the time I spoke with them and we all had been to the same restaurant in the last few previous days.

4.  On the Internet.  There are too many ways to list how thieves can get your info, not including companies listing your information on their websites for all to help themselves, like we've seen in the last few months in the news!

I think everyone has gotten swindled from using their card online, me included.  Thank heavens for Visa's policy of paying back charges that are fraud!

Experts say using your card online is the riskiest and if given the option use a third party pay site like PayPal to run your payment through.

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