Crime

Debit card skimmer found at Macon gas station pumps

How to spot a skimmer at a gas pump or ATM

Eric Vitale, fraud investigation specialist with the San Luis Obispo Police Department, demonstrates how to spot a card skimmer on an ATM, gas pump or other card reader. He also offers advice for keeping your PIN and card information safe.
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Eric Vitale, fraud investigation specialist with the San Luis Obispo Police Department, demonstrates how to spot a card skimmer on an ATM, gas pump or other card reader. He also offers advice for keeping your PIN and card information safe.

A high-tech debit card skimmer was discovered at the pumps of a south Bibb County gas station.

A Georgia Department of Agriculture inspector recently discovered the tool, used for stealing financial information from customers, at the Chevron station at Houston and Hartley Bridge roads, according to a news release from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

The inspector told the sheriff’s office that the skimmer, installed in the internal area of the pumps, emits a Bluetooth signal, “so the criminals can stop at the pump to collect the information without opening it.”

Bluetooth skimmers allow thieves to collect a person’s PIN and card information each time the card is inserted for payment at the pumps. The information can be sent wirelessly to any Bluetooth-capable device and then duplicated on to any stock credit card.

Security investigator Brian Krebs, who operates KrebsOnSecurity.com, said only a “handful of master keys” can still open a great many pumps in use today.

Business owners are encouraged to inspect their pumps and ATM machines as soon as possible because it is common for skimmers to appear in multiple locations during a single time period, the sheriff’s office said.

Motorists also are encouraged to review financial statements for questionable transactions.

skim
The skimming device storage and transmitter. Special to The Telegraph

The sheriff’s office encourages those purchasing gas to consider the following precautions:

▪  Pay with cash.

▪  Use a credit card that limits your liability to $50.

▪  Inspect the card reader for any signs of tampering, including scratches or loose-fitting hardware.

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call the sheriff’s office at 478-751-7500, or call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME.

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor

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