Pinckney, MI (July 19, 2017) - A credit card skimmer was identified at a BP gas station in Pinckney and reported to police on Thursday, July 13. Skimmers continue to be common theft tool, and are small devices installed over normal card readers at ATMs or gas pumps. They are able to capture sensitive information from the magnetic strips of swiped credit and debit cards during the point of sale. Thieves can then withdraw money from seized bank accounts and create duplicate cards for illicit purchases.
Police ask those who bought gas from the station within the last week to report the fraud to their financial institutions, block their existing card and request a new one. The BBB also encourages card holders to be vigilant of their financial transactions and account statements at all times.
The event is still under investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Weights. Anyone with information on this or other skimmers should call the police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP (1-800-773-2587).
Spotting and Avoiding Credit Card Skimmers:
Skimmers on ATMs and other terminals may be colored, loose to the touch, bulky or protruding. If you suspect something is wrong, compare your card reader to others nearby. If there are visible differences or evidence of tampering such as surface damage, do not make a payment!
Additionally, skimmers must be accompanied by a fake PIN pad or camera in order to obtain PIN numbers. Covering your hand when typing in the PIN will prevent a camera from recording the number, so that even if your card number is captured, it will be not be useable. Fake PIN pads, on the other hand, are mounted on top of the original and more difficult to identify, though they may pop out at a higher angle than other functions on the machine.
Non-swipe digital payment options greatly decrease the possibility of financial theft deployed by a card skimmer. Switch to chipped cards and virtual payment services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay. EMV chipped cards that are inserted instead of swiped make card information much harder to decode. Moreover, virtual payments do not disclose personal information at all.
If something seems like a scam, report it to BBB!