Steamboat Police are warning residents to be on the look out for suspicious devices when paying at the pump. Two skimming devices have been recovered recently from local gas stations. Skimming devices read the information stored on the magnetic strip while a credit card passes through an attached device. Depending on the financial institution, the magnetic strip generally contains all the information displayed on the card as well as additional information about the account. The stolen information can be used in criminal activities. Skimming device can be attached directly over the card reader. Steps to take to avoid credit card skimmers are available below.
Guidance for Credit Card Skimmer Fraud Awareness
• If you can, use gas pumps and ATMs that are in plain view of passersby and surveillance cameras. They are less likely to be targeted by criminals.
• When possible, use the same ATM and gas pumps so you become familiar with the appearance of the card reader.
• Skimmers often disrupt the smooth entry/exit of the card. If the card action seems jerky or uneven, notify the vendor and treat the transaction as suspicious.
• Inspect the card reader and the area near the PIN pad for any suspicious devices or tampered-with equipment.
If using a debit card, attempt to conceal the PIN or zip code from visual detection by covering the keypad with your hand as you enter it.
• Look at other nearby gas pumps or ATM card readers to see if they match the one you are using.
• For ATMs, inspect the device – look for uneven colors or loose PIN pads – and tug on card slot before insertion.
• Avoid gas pumps where the tamper-safe security seal affixed to the pump has been broken.