Indiana sees credit card skimming trend at gas pumps, ATMs

Keywords Law / Technology

Indiana State Police say a trend of stealing credit card information from gas pumps and ATMs that struck last fall continues to pilfer money from state residents.

Thieves have taken to card skimming, or collecting information from debit and credit transactions through the use of a camouflaged, counterfeit card reader, the Tribune Star of Terre Haute reported.

Criminals insert or fix a replica card reader to gas pumps and ATMs. Those readers then transfer information from the card's magnetic strip to the electronic device that can be used to print a counterfeit card.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts said the devices can be difficult to detect and that staying vigilant is imperative.

"These things can look very similar and stick out just a little bit," Watts said. "And as soon as you swipe or insert your card it can take the information."

Watts said such criminals often use pumps and ATMs that are remote or removed from well-lit, public places.

"They are difficult to catch because they make the fake credit cards and they go to the fuel stations or wherever and if you don't catch them on camera, or don't get a plate number or get a really good facial (photograph), then they simply get away with swiping the (counterfeit) card and buying fuel or whatever until the card is found to be fraudulent," Watts said.

Police advise gas station customers to use the pump closest to the building or in clear view of the cashier, look for damaged or broken locks on the gas pump and to look at other gas pumps to be sure the credit card readers all look the same.

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