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Skimmers installed at gas stations in the Brazos Valley raising concerns of scammer safety

Posted at 9:01 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 12:15:46-04

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — Someone in the Brazos Valley is targeting people at gas pumps. An increase of skimmers has caught the eye of Bryan police.

Here are tips on how to spot this trap before it’s too late.

Some may prefer to go inside of a gas station to pay for their gas, but here are some things you can look out for if you prefer paying at the pump.

Bryan police department detectives are on the hunt for a suspect responsible for installing skimmers at gas stations.

The devices read the magnetic strip on your credit or debit card .... thieves then use the information to create counterfeit cards and rack up fraudulent charges in your name

There are simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim - like looking for a broken security seal.

“If we have skimmers in the gas pumps, the way we can tell is if there’s a seal on it," said Ava Spann, the cashier at Sammy's food and fuel Mart. "If it’s broken, then we know that someone’s put a skimmer on it,”

According to Scott Smith, the chief information security officer for the City of Bryan, gas stations are mainly utilized because of how they use both chips and barcodes.

Touchless pay is becoming more common and is the most protective form of payment. Smith adds thieves also install small cameras to avoid that seal altogether.

”Sometimes they have a little camera that they install to watch your fingers type," said Scott Smith, City of Bryan Chief Information Security Officer. "Then at like the point of sales and gas stations or stores, they’ll put an over lay over the credit card machine itself that has a keypad,”

It's always a good idea to shield the keypad with your hand.

Smith says thieves will also place a skimmer device over the credit card insert.

“Even if you insert your chip card, sometimes your chip card still has that magnetic bar information that can read as well,”

To make sure it's the original credit card so, look at other pumps to see if they match up and try wiggling or tugging it off to see if it's securely attached to the pump.

While a lot of gas stations monitor their pumps. Smith says, paying attention to what's happening around you is always a good idea.