Scams and safety

ATM .jpg

Credit card fraud continues to be detected throughout the Nation at fuel pumps, ATMs, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals. Consumers can help safeguard their information from credit/debit card thieves who place skimming devices inside gasoline pumps at various service stations and bank ATM’s throughout our County and State. 

What are credit/debit card skimmers?

Credit/debit card skimmers are hidden illegal devices embedded inside gas pumps or an ATM and are commonly spliced onto the credit card reader, allowing credit/debit card numbers and PIN numbers to be recorded during routine refueling and retrieved later or sent to an offsite receiver. Usually there are no outwardly visible signs on the pumps or ATMs giving away the presence of the devices. 

What precautions can consumers take to avoid credit/debit card skimming?

The Federal Trade Commission offer the following preventative measures:

  • Pay cash for fuel purchases
  • Pay inside where it is less likely the credit card terminal has been tampered with
  • Consider running debit cards as credit which may offer greater protection if fraud occurs
  • Use gas pumps closest to, or facing service station buildings where station attendants are visible
  • Watch for security stickers that appear broken or tampered with
  • If available, use mobile payment options (Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.)
  • Report suspicious behavior to the station operator, such as the unlocking of gas pumps by someone not affiliated with the station

Carefully review credit/debit card company statements for suspicious charges. If your credit/debit card has been compromised, report it to your bank or card issuer.

Please know that local law enforcement investigators to the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to work to mitigate the threat of skimming fraud and crack down on the criminals and organized crime groups committing these thefts.