Is your bank account in danger? It might be. Especially if you’ve visited a gas pump recently…
Filling your car up with gas, like you do every week, except this time… instead of being charged $20 or $30 dollars, you’re whole bank account gets swiped.
How does that happen? Well, recently, investigators with the West Virginia Division of Labor have identified – what they call – skimmers at several gas stations around the state.
Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, told us about the recent scam, “Skimming is actually a situation where a criminal inserts a special device at a gas station and then the unsuspecting consumer puts their card in, and then you can get ripped off. Not only at the gas station, but what happens is that they then can go to ATMs or other gas stations and steal from you.”
Skimmers look like normal card readers that stick out just a little farther than normal.
James Pack, Detective of the Oak Hill City Police Department said, “There are skimmers that are out there that read and video footage on them as well. So I mean, your best bet is to actually go inside and pay for your gasoline at the register.”
And for some residents, this isn’t the first they hear of these types of scams.
“I always pay inside, for that very reason.”
While others, were in shock this was happening.
“They’re making things so easy everybody can steal from you, and it’s not right. You know we work hard for our money and everything, not for somebody to steal it from us that easy.”
Advances in technology have made the devices smaller and harder to detect, but if you must pay by card, authorities do have some tips for you.
“The gas stations actually put tape on the inserts.. check and make sure those haven’t been broken. I know that’s sole of the things gas stations are doing to ensure the safety of their customers. Your best bet is to actually go inside and do it where you are actually one on one,” advised Detective Pack.
Division of Labor inspectors are working closely with local authorities and the FBI to ensure all gas pumps through the state remain safe.