Credit card skimmer discovered at Sapulpa gas station; here’s how to protect yourself
Employees at the new gas station discovered a skimmer that had been installed in mid-October.
A new gas station at Sapulpa was found to have a skimmer installed on one of the pumps, victimizing at least one customer, maybe more, Sapulpa Police said on Monday afternoon.
Employees at the new Krispy Krunchy Chicken gas station, located at 2715 E. Hwy 117, found the skimmer after being alerted by a customer who noticed a suspicious charge on Monday morning. Police the employees began searching the pump and immediately found the skimmer.
A skimmer is a device that can be installed on ATMs and gas station pumps to collect information from credit cards being used at those stations. Thieves can then use that data to steal money off of the credit cards being used.
There’s no word on how much was skimmed, but police confirmed that the skimmer had been on the pump since at least October 19th.
According to the National Association for Convenience Stores, the risk and reward for skimming can be pretty substantial. Just consider:
- 37 million Americans refuel every day.
- Of them, 29 million pay for fuel with a credit or debit card.
- When skimming occurs at a gas station, it usually takes place at only one pump.
- A single compromised pump can capture data from 30 to 100 cards per day.
While there are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim to skimming, police say that the technology is getting better and more difficult to track, having upgraded to a new method called “Shimming” and now even use bluetooth technology to collect user’s card data.
The worst part may be that there’s no foolproof way to detect skimmers, and the practice is steadily rising. Law enforcement and ATM experts suggest:
- Pay inside, with cash or a credit card, rather than at the pump. If you have to pay at the pump, choose pumps closest to a physical building.
- Use a credit card, not a debit card, when you pay. This will allow you to pay with the credit card’s money and you’re likely protected by the card’s fraud policy.
- Use your issuer’s fraud alerts (if available) and check your card statements. Being diligent will likely be your best offense.
- Consider paying or withdrawing cash with your digital wallet. Paying by phone using Apple Pay or Samsung Pay is a great way to avoid the skimming process altogether.