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Skimmers hitting gas stations

Posted in Identity Theft July 18th, 2010 @ 8:53 am

Recently in Aurora, Colorado, the police have issued a crime alert to gas stations throughout the city. They have found a credit card skimming device inside a gas pump that captures your financial information. This device uses the magnetic strip on the back of your credit or debit cards every time you swipe your card to pay for gas. This is similar to ATM skimmers that these low-life criminals were using.

This is how it works. Once the skimmers get your credit or debit information, these criminals use card and PIN numbers to clone credit cards or make online purchases with your credit or debit card.

Somehow these criminals have found a generic gas pump key to gain access to the gas pump and installed the skimmers. The skimmers have access directly to the bank card reader.

Because the skimmer is hidden inside the pump it’s almost impossible to detect. While the ATM’s skimmers were obvious, you could see that a device was attached to the outside of the ATM machine.

The best way to stop this type of scam is for both the gas station owners and you to be very vigilant. Police are asking gas station owners to check inside their pumps for the devices and to watch for anyone within 50 yards of their business using a laptop. This is one way these criminals retrieve financial information, wirelessly. Police are also asking gas station owners to put surveillance video at their pumps.

You can help out as well by making sure that you review your gasoline bill monthly or even on line to make sure that you made the transactions on your bill.

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