On your next road trip, be sure to check the gas pump before you swipe your card. Thieves are using credit card skimmers to steal your money.
Just ahead of Spring Break, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services performed a statewide sweep inspecting gas stations for skimmers. They found eight skimmers, and half of those were found in one of Florida’s most popular Spring Break destinations.
Credit card skimmers are on the rise across the U.S. Authorities in New Mexico are reporting a spike in credit card skimmers. In Las Vegas, federal investigators are searching for people involved in a sophisticated credit card fraud operation that includes attaching skimmers to ATMs along the Las Vegas Strip. In New York, police are inspecting thousands of ATMs and warning people that high tourist areas like Times Square are a big target.
Skimmers are tiny devices that can be rigged to credit card slots in gas pumps and ATM machines. They download credit card data, including the number and pin codes, or use Bluetooth technology to transmit your credit card data to someone located nearby.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, each skimmer averages about 100 cards and the crooks steal an average of $1,000 from each victim.
How to Avoid Credit Card Skimmers
Follow these tips to prevent skimmers from stealing your credit card information.
- Pay inside.
- Inspect the pump for skimmers and signs of tampering such as breaks in seals. Pull on the card reader to ensure that it’s intact and not loose.
- Use the pump closest to the store. Thieves often place skimmers on pumps farthest away from the store so they won’t be seen.
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection.
- If you have to use a debit card, run it as credit to avoid inputting your pin number.
- Monitor your bank account regularly.
— C-Store News (@CStoreNews_) March 10, 2017