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Police find skimmers on gas pumps

Farmington Casey’s on Henry Street said to have had two devices used to collect cardholder data


The Farmington Police Department reported Wednesday afternoon through its Facebook page that it had received a report on Monday of a skimming device found inside a gas pump at Casey’s on 84 S. Henry St., near the firehouse.

Upon investigation, according to the news release, officers found and removed two Bluetooth skimmer devices. No additional skimmers were found in the city.

“Casey’s has added additional anti-tampering security features and monitoring to each of their pumps, so there isn’t a concern of further accounts being compromised,” reads the news release.

Drivers are being encouraged to watch their financial information and take steps to avoid illegal skimming devices installed on gas pumps. (Pixabay)

The department spokesperson said the method is consistent with thieves using a popular skimmer device that can be used to obtain credit or debit card information.

The use of skimmers has become more common across the country in recent years, with skimmer devices typically being placed inside gas pumps, making them undetectable without opening the pump.

After the thieves place the skimmer inside a gas pump, they return after a period of time and remove the device and college the data, which consists of the credit or debit card information from customers paying at the pump.

Authorities with the Farmington Police Department are advising customers who purchased gas at the Casey’s located at 84 S. Henry St. to immediately review their bank statements for any fraudulent activity.

If fraudulent activity on one’s credit or debit card, the cardholder should notify their local police department and the financial institution issuing the card. Information and further assistance can be found through the Farmington Police Department, 573-431-3131.

The Farmington Police Department also recommends:

  • Enable Bluetooth on a smartphone and search for any unusual signals nearby before swiping a card to purchase gas. If a signal comes back from the gas pump, do not use it, and immediately notify law enforcement and store personnel.
  • Check to make sure the gas pump dispenser cabinet is closed and has not been tampered with. Many stations are using security tape over the cabinet to ensure it has not been opened by unauthorized individuals.
  • Use a gas pump closer to the front of the store. Thieves often place “skimmer” devices at the gas pumps farther away from the store, so they are not noticed as quickly.
  • Make payments inside the store with the cashier.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
  • If using a debit card, run it as credit. Since the credit option doesn’t require a PIN the purchaser has more protection.
  • Continue to monitor bank accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges. “Skimmer” thieves may delay using your account from the time they obtained your credit or debit card information, to not raise suspicion. This type of illegal activity isn’t just specific to our community. These criminals travel far and wide, which makes the tips previously mentioned important for all of us to practice.

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