STURBRIDGE, Mass. (WWLP) – Sturbridge police are reminding drivers to check for skimming devices at pumps after several were found at a truck stop this week.
According to the Sturbridge Police Department, Officers were called Friday to the Pilot Travel Center for a report of skimming devices found on the diesel pumps. Three skimming devices were located on three different pumps at the truck stop. An additional three skimming devices were found at this location earlier this week.
Thieves use skimming devices anywhere you may use the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card. You used to just be able to just use your finger and feel around for a skimmer, where you put your credit or debit, now these thieves are getting more advanced, they’re hiding their skimmers inside of gas pumps.
If a skimmer is used, it collects credit card information and a printer will clone the credit card with its information to steal from a victim’s account.
To avoid being a victim, make sure that the card reader has not been tampered with and check the keypad before inserting your card. Also note that if the numbers are hard to press, it might have been tampered with.
Sturbridge police say if you see a device like this on a gas pump, do not use the pump. Report it to store management and report any and all suspicious activity to the police.
Here are some tips from the Department of Consumer Affairs for how to protect your banking information when your at the pump or ATM:
• Use pumps closest to the attendant and be aware of lighting conditions. The darkest lit and furthest pump from the attendant is a thief’s ideal target.
• Pay inside and use cash when possible. Credit and debit cards account for more than half of all U.S. gasoline purchases, making it all too easy for thieves to acquire your information.
• Check the condition of the pumps and pay attention to details. Sometimes there are slight abnormalities that you may detect. If it looks suspicious or if you spot any sign of tampering, immediately notify an attendant and make sure the police are called.
• Look around. Some thieves use Blue Tooth technology which requires them to be within a certain distance of the pump. If a person or car seems to be lingering for too long, notify an attendant.
• Monitor your bank account daily and check your credit card statements. Notify your bank or card issuer if anything looks unusual or if you spot fraudulent charges.