YUMA, Ariz. – Paying at the pump is quick and convenient, but a popular scam may make you think twice before swiping your card. Yuma police say criminals are hiding skimming devices behind gas station card readers, meant to steal your personal information.
“After they place this device behind the panel, then later they go back and pull out all the victim’s personal information,” Officer Cruz Vidal told us.
She said YPD began receiving multiple reports of skimmers this week. They are not releasing the locations where these illegal devices have been found. Investigators are still searching for more skimmers.
“This device is hidden. You will not see for the most part where the device is,” Vidal said.
YPD has not disclosed how long this scam has been happening or who is behind it. Detectives say all businesses involved in the credit card scam are fully cooperating with the investigation.
It is not just gas pumps you should worry about. Criminals can hide them at ATM’s too, a place winter visitor Jim Sherf is always cautious.
“I make sure I look around and make sure there’s nobody close enough to do me any harm,” Sherf explained.
Like Sherf, most people we spoke with were not too worried about the scam. Yuma resident Toni Olsen said her bank notifies her of any phony charges.
“I feel comfortable traveling anywhere and using my credit card, whether it be at a gas station, motel, hotel, grocery store,” Olsen said.
Vidal said there are precautions you can take.
“Try to use the gas pumps that are closest to the facility. If you don’t feel comfortable paying at that gas pump, go into the facility and pay,” she said.
The Arizona Department Of Weights And Measures are also looking into the scam.
If you have any information regarding this investigation, please contact Yuma Police at (928) 373-4700.