Some of these skimming devices are virtually undetectable

The Palm Springs Police Department has reported seeing an increase in skimming devices in bank ATM’s and fuel pumps. Here is how they work:

  • The skimming device is inserted into the ATM, fuel pump point of sale or many other devices that accept credit/debit cards.
  • The skimming device can read your card once your card is placed into the machine. Your personal information can be accessed wirelessly by the suspect and a hidden camera catches your PIN number as you enter it on the key pad.

Some of these devices are virtually undetectable and are installed into the machine which prevents it from being removed by the user or law enforcement.

If you suspect a device you are using has been compromised with a skimmer, please contact the business owner or the bank immediately as a technician must be called out to have it removed. If you become a victim of identity theft, call your local law enforcement agency.

Here is some helpful information from Experian:

How to Avoid Card Skimming

  • Even as fraudsters become more sophisticated in their tactics, you can take steps to avoid becoming a victim of card skimming.
  • Pay with cash. You might even save some money if the gas station provides discounts for those using cash instead of a card.
  • Pay inside where it is less likely the credit card terminal has been tampered with.
  • Use mobile payment options like Google Pay or Apple Pay if they’re an option.
  • Use the chip reader rather than swipe. Shimming is possible this way, but less likely.
  • Use credit, not debit, whenever possible. If a thief is able to steal your debit card information, they have access to your bank account.
  • Investigate the card reader to make sure nothing looks or feels unusual. If something doesn’t seem right, pay inside and report your concerns.
  • If possible, only stop at busy, well-lit and well-maintained gas stations. Look for stickers or other signs that the pumps are regularly inspected.
  • Download the Skimmer Scanner app, which can warn you about a skimmer. Using Bluetooth, the app can alert you if the pump has been tampered with.



Image Sources

  • ATM machine: Shutterstock