Paying at the pump is getting riskier

Gas Pump Getty Images

(Cleveland) - In a recent case, BCI agents assisted an Ohio law enforcement agency in identifying more than 700 victims of a single skimmer device.

Sue McConnell of the Cleveland Better Business Bureau says use caution to avoid becoming a victim of a credit card skimmer, which are often hidden on ATM and gas pump card readers and allow identity thieves to steal card information.

Check for fake overlays, which are devices that identity thieves place over existing ATM/gas pump card readers. Most fake overlays are secured by tape. Try wiggling or pulling on the reader before inserting your card. If the device comes off, it is most likely a skimmer overlay.

Check for damage or foreign objects inside the card reader. 

Check for a gas pump security seal. Some gas stations place stickers on gas pumps that will turn void if the inside of the gas pump has been tampered with. 

Use a credit card instead of a debit card.  If you must use a debit card, run the transaction as credit, if possible.

If a pin code is required to complete the transaction, cover up the pin pad with your other hand. Thieves sometimes place small cameras in card readers to obtain pin code information.

Pay inside at the cashier instead of paying at the pump.•Monitor your credit card and back accounts regularly.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced last week, that cyber crime agents now have a new tool to help local law enforcement agencies investigate crimes involving credit card skimmers, which are often hidden on ATM and gas pump card readers and allow identity thieves to steal card information. 

The technology now in use at BCI allows agents to pull data from credit card skimmers in a forensically sound manner to aid local law enforcement in identifying both the suspects and victims involved.

(Photos by Getty Images)

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