St. Peters police warn customers after finding credit card skimmers at gas pump

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Credit cards

ST. PETERS • Police say they have found two credit card skimmers secretly installed inside two gasoline pumps at a Mobil station in St. Peters.

Now, police are warning drivers to pay extra attention at the gas pump to avoid getting scammed.

Skimmers, or card readers placed over card slots on gas pumps, ATMs or vending machines, lift customers’ card data so that thieves can print phony cards by duplicating magnetic strips and make bogus charges.

The skimmers found at the St. Peters gas station were found installed behind the pumps’ front panels, said St. Peters Officer Melissa Doss. She described them as looking like a small flash drive that connect to pumps’ internal card readers. She said data stored on the device can be transmitted via Bluetooth technology.

Skimmers have been found at ATMs and gas pumps across the country. According to FICO, an analytics software company, the number of breached ATMs jumped six times between 2014 and 2015 and increased again last year. In June, the Federal Trade Commission put out a public warning about the problem and provided ways to avoid being scammed.

St. Peters police say they were called to a Mobil station Thursday in the 400 block of Mid Rivers Mall Drive. Police said it is possible the devices were in the gas pumps for a couple of days.

They suggest that customers who filled up at that gas station check their credit card or bank statements for suspicious charges. Police also recommend using a credit card at the pump instead of a debit card that is directly linked to a person’s bank account.

They also say customers should check gas pumps before filling up to make sure security tape covers cracks in the panel doors of the pump.

Anyone with information about the skimmer scam at the Mobil in St. Peters is asked to call police at 636-278-1000.

Credit cards

Credit cards shown in a March 5, 2012, file photo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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