Evansville Police Department recently took to Facebook to post a warning about credit card skimmers.  Prices at the pump are already high without the added pain of having to worry about your credit card info getting stolen.

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What are credit card skimmers?

A credit card skimmer is basically a tiny device that fits over a regular card reader. The device is designed to be discreet and when you scan your card, unknowingly to you the skimmer gets your card information.  GeekFlare.com describes credit card skimmers as:

A  skimmer fits a small device on a real card reader to capture your credit card information. These devices sit flush with the machine and are not easy to spot unless you proactively examine the machine.

 

How can you protect yourself from getting your card skimmed?

The thing about card skimmers is they can be so discreet that you don't even notice you're putting your card into one.  The instance EPD shared is about skimmers being used on gas pumps.  You could scan your card at the pump, fill up,  and be on your way without any indication your information has just been compromised.  In their Facebook post, EPD shares a few ways to protect yourself from skimmers.

EPD recommends monitoring your bank account closely after getting gas.  They also recommend running your debit card as credit so that way your PIN information isn't compromised on the chance there is a skimmer on the pump.  Their last recommendation is that, while it may be less convenient, pay inside instead of at the pump.

Here's what Evansville Police Department says about card skimmers:

Gas Pump Skimmer Alert:
A skimmer is an illegal card reader attached to payment terminals. Criminals are installing them to the inside of the gas pump so you can’t actually see them from the outside. The card readers grab data off of a credit or debit card’s magnetic strip.
Some gas stations are becoming aware of the problem and installing new pumps that can help prevent these skimmers from being installed. The older pumps are more susceptible to skimmers. Gas station employees are also being educated on what to look for inside the pump.
At first glance, the skimmer just appears to be a part of the wiring system inside the pump. But to a trained eye, they can easily be detected.
Here are some prevention tips that you can use to avoid being a victim of these skimmers.
• Monitor your bank account closely. Make sure to check your account after leaving a gas station. If you notice an unauthorized transaction on your account, report that suspicious activity to your bank immediately and contact your local law enforcement agency.
• Try running your debit cards as a credit card if possible to avoid using your PIN.
• If you frequent a particular gas station, don’t hesitate to ask employees how often they check on their gas pumps for skimmers.
• Another option is to pay inside! It might be a few extra steps to walk, but a skimmer is unlikely to be inside the gas station.

Technology has a great way of making our lives easier and making things more convenient, but on the flip side, that also means there are now more ways than ever for scammers to take advantage of that technology.  Stay safe, and protect yourself from getting scammed.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

 

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