Elkhart police warn public about increase in credit card skimmers

Published: Sep. 5, 2018 at 6:55 PM EDT
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Elkhart police warn there has recently been an increase in illegal credit card skimming in our area.

They say thieves place skimmers in ATMs and at gas pumps to steal your information.

The manager at one Elkhart gas station says the locks on these gas pumps are almost “universal.”

That means that if someone manages to steal or find a key to one of these locks, they can access the pumps at almost any gas station to open this door and place a skimmer inside.

“With these skimmers, they’re reading that card information, they’re trying to get your PIN number, and then they’re creating a duplicate card off that, and then they’re going to go make purchases or withdraw from ATMs,” Detective Chris Snyder said.

“This is a nationwide trend, and as long as criminals are taking your money and getting away with it, they’re going to continue to do it,” he added.

That’s why Snyder says you should be diligent in order to prevent this from happening to you.

The manager at Elkhart Quick Mart says there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself at the pump.

“The first thing you want to look for would be anything strange that would be stuck on here or any strange wires sticking out,” Doug Hamlin said. “Look at the locks to see if the locks have been scratched up a lot or pry marks. A lot of stations will have a security sticker across this door to make sure it hasn’t been open.”

“If you see cars that are parked, watching, paying real close attention to what you’re doing, maybe you want to go inside and pay,” he added.

Watch your bank account closely for any unusual activity and report it immediately to your bank and to police so they can investigate the last place you used your card.

“We work with the police, we have security cameras all over, and if we can, we’ll help them get whoever’s doing it,” Hamlin said.

“We just need to make sure that we’re doing our diligence so that we don’t become victims,” Snyder said.

One of the precautions this gas station has taken was to change out all the locks that now require a unique key.

Also, in order to protect yourself when using ATMs, be sure to avoid standalone ATMs and opt to withdraw from banks.