Card Skimmer Found in Local Gas Pump Print
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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:15

Drivers that may have pulled over to gas up in December of last year may have left something behind, their credit or debit card information.

Oskaloosa Police say a technician working on a pump at the Kum and Go located at 1201 North Market Street, near William Penn University, discovered a card skimming device inside the pump while repairing its keypad. The discovery happened on Thursday, December 29th. Since the skimmer was placed inside the gas pump customers were not be able to see the device. Local law enforcement says it doesn't know when the skimmer was placed inside the pump, or how long it had been there. CRI contacted Kum and Go Headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa and spoke with the Director of Communications Kristie Bell. Bell says the corporation instructs their store employees to do a walk through the station's parking lot and check the pumps at least once a day.

"When we do hear of an uptick of this kind of activity in the market, whether it is something we are hearing about in one of our stores or a competitor we issue alert emails to all of stores saying be extra diligent, do extra checks out in the lot, make sure that you're checking those pumps more than once a day," says Bell.

Bell also says Kum and Go, as well as, other gas station use security tape on a pump's keypad door to let patrons and employees know a pump is secure. If the tape has been peeled back the words void or open will appear. Giving notice that the pump has been tampered with. Police are advising anyone that may have paid at the Kum and Go pumps to monitor your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis. The OPD also wants drivers to always check the pump when pulling into a gas station. AAA officials recommend you carefully choose which gas pump to use. Experts suggest finding one in the direct line of sight of a gas station clerk to lessen the chance a pump has been tampered with.

Other tips to avoid skimmers at the gas pumps are:

  • Pay with cash inside the store.
  • Try to use a gas pump near the front of the store. Thieves often place skimmers at gas pumps farther away from the store's entrance.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately.
  • If you decide to us a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit. That way, the PIN number is safe.

"We take this very seriously,” says Bell. If our customers who are shopping in the lot see something that looks suspicious it is really helpful if they say something."

Oskaloosa Police recommend inspecting the gas pump when you first get to it. Make sure the card reader looks like all the other card readers nearby and make sure the security tape doesn't look tampered with. The only way to guarantee you won't become a victim is to use cash.