A card skimmer device was discovered this week by a Nebraska Department of Agriculture inspector during a routine pump inspection at a gas station in Lexington.Skimming and shimming devices can be attached to ATMs, gas pumps and other places where people swipe credit and debit cards, so thieves can steal financial information.
The Ag Department announced Friday, April 28 that the skimmer was found. The station was not named.
This skimmer was embedded on the inside of the pump and would be hard for a consumer to spot; however, card shimming devices are a bit easier for consumers to notice as they are placed over the external card reader on the gas pump.
Consumers are urged to pay attention at the pump if they use a debit or credit card, and always check first to see if anything has been tampered with.
“Weights and Measures inspectors work to verify the accuracy of gas pumps in every community in the state through routine inspections,” said Ken Tichota, the administrator or the Food Safety and Consumer Protection Focus Area at NDA. “Those inspections are designed to ensure that consumers are getting what they pay for. As an extra layer of protection to the consumer during their routine inspections our staff has been diligently checking gas pumps for skimming and shimming devices.”
Tichota says there are things consumers can do to protect themselves from card skimming and shimming devices, including:
1) Choose a gas pump nearest to the attendant. Installers of these devices tend to prefer pumps out of the view of the station attendants.
2) Look for a tamper proof, serial numbered piece of tape over the pump access panels. If the tape is damaged in any way, do not use the pump and alert the station attendant.
3) Look for a shimmer on the pump you intend to use by comparing it to other pumps at the station. If you notice it looks different, do not use the pump and alert the station attendant.
4) Monitor your bank account frequently and report any fraudulent charges immediately.