Two credit card skimmers were discovered on gas pumps at Circle K at John Wayne Parkway & Smith Enke Road on Feb. 5, according to the Weights and Measures Services Division.
Maricopa is not alone as 12 card skimmers were discovered across Arizona in January. Last year, authorities found 148 credit card skimmers across the state, up from 57 in 2017.
Many of the new skimmers utilize Bluetooth technology. If you suspect or want to check for skimmers at the pumps simply go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone and look for devices in the area. There are also anti-skimmer applications available on both the Google Play and the Apple Stores.
From January 2017 through May 2018, officials have found 89 credit card skimmers at 72 locations around Arizona.
Thieves have begun to use Bluetooth technology to capture credit or debit card information. The crime is called bluesnarfing or blue skimming, and the crooks can sit 100 yards away in their vehicle while credit and debit card information is transmitted to their laptop.
Tips from the Attorney General’s Office:
- Always use credit cards to pay for gas at the pump. If you have to use an ATM card, run it as credit.
- Wiggle the card scanner before you insert your card. If it is loose, move on (this tip also applies to ATMs).
- Some gas stations place security tags/tabs on the pump showing that it is secure. If the tag/tab is broken, move on. Also, look for any pry marks on the gas pump door or if the door is slightly open.
- Look at the surrounding credit card readers at other pumps to see if they look the same. Suspects will often use counterfeit stickers to cover the ones they break while installing a skimming device, so check the stickers on one or more adjacent pumps.
- Use pumps in well-lit areas that are positioned in a clear view of store employees. The scammers installing the devices usually will place a skimmer into the pumps furthest away from the attendant.
- Watch out for large vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and vans that park in front of fuel dispensers for long periods of time. Criminals have been known to use large vehicles to block the view of the pump from site employees while they install a skimming device.
- If concerned pay inside or go to a different gas station.
- Report your concerns to station employees, law enforcement, and/or file a complaint online.
- Routinely monitor the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures website to identify where credit card skimmers have recently been found.
- Monitor your credit card and bank statements to look for any unauthorized or fraudulent charges.