YUMA, Ariz. - The Yuma Police Department is warning the community of "gas pump skimmers" in efforts to remind the Yuma area to be alert when using gas pumps and ATM machines.
Skimmers are now Bluetooth capable and can be downloaded remotely.
These electronic devices are either installed or attached to the gas pumps and are hard to detect. They are used to obtain credit and debit card information by capturing the PIN and account information. This information may be used later to make fraudulent purchases with the victim’s account. Skimmers also are commonly planted in ATMs.
The funds are often not taken until several months later, making the crime of the actual scam difficult to pinpoint.
There have been increased reports of this type of crime all across the country and we are not isolated from this type of crime.
"When the bad guy puts a skimmer inside the gas pump itself, they don't have to be right there or have to go back and they don't have to retrieve it. Through via Bluetooth through their cell phone or computer, they can sit a good distance away and actually download the info right then and there. It's not so much that they risk getting caught putting it in and taking it out, now they can just do it at a distance," says Sgt. Lori Franklin.
The tips listed below may prevent you from being a victim of “skimming”:
- You can select credit at the pump to avoid falling victim to debit card fraud.
- Routinely check your bank statements and use credit cards with fraud protection to avoid identify theft.
- You can pay inside the store and remain inside to sign all credit card receipts.
- Make sure you get your receipts and properly destroy them by shredding.
- Don’t use pumps hidden from the view of the gas station attendant.
The devices are usually left on the pump for a short period of time and then later removed by the criminals.
Click the websites below to learn more information on "skimmers."