MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Scammers are hitting gas stations in the Mid-South.
Crooks are using skimmers, which are small devices that attach to the inside of the fuel pump.
Experts say the devise is usually undetectable.
“We have officers that go out and check the pumps. we look for trends like that and we start investigating," said Sgt. Kevin Barrett.
Sgt. Kevin Barrett works with the economic crimes bureau at the Memphis Police Department.
He said scammers are opening the key pads at gas pumps and installing their own software connected to a card reader and pin pad to copy debit and credit card information.
He said the technology can go undetected for months, which makes it hard to catch fraudulent activity.
“The skimmer is here but the card may not be charged here. It maybe outside of the state and it can be sold on the dark web and used until the card if deactivated," said Sgt. Barrett.
Sgt. Barrett said paying with cards at the pump increases the risk of becoming the victim of a scam.
But if you do have to use a card at the pump remember this tip.
“Try to use a credit card at the pump. If you don’t have access to a credit card use your debit but don’t enter your debit card number run it as credit.”
Next time you’re at the pump pay attention and see if it has been tampered with or any devices have been added.
Skimmer technology is improving and some hackers are using Bluetooth technology instead of physical devices.
“There is some Bluetooth technology where they don’t even have to walk up and remove the skimmer the can just walk up and download the information.”
Sgt. Barrett said you can’t go wrong paying with good old fashioned cash.
If your information is compromised, contact your cardholder.
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