Skimmer technology getting better
PHOENIX – Criminals are upping the stakes when it comes to stealing your credit and debit card information at gas pumps. The state already has found more skimmers this month than it found last year. Between August 1 and August 12, there were 12 found and only 11 last year. Not only are more skimmers turning up, the criminals are making it more difficult to find the devices inside the pumps.
“We are finding the skimmers attached to the circuit boards which are harder for technicians and criminals to reach,” said Mark Killian, director of the Department of Agriculture. “These are brazen criminals working in fairly public places that are usually well lit. We need to put them out of business in Arizona.”
So far in August, the Department has reports of skimmers in Tempe, Glendale, Phoenix and Yuma and is working vigilantly to investigate each claim. Since January first, 40 skimmers have been found around the state. In response to the increasing number of crimes, Governor Ducey signed a law this year to increase the penalty when criminals use skimmers for financial gain (Class 6 Felony to Class 5 Felony).
Skimmers are devices that criminals install to steal your customers’ debit and credit card information to make fraudulent cards. History shows that many times criminals will install skimmers at several fueling stations within a few miles of each other. The Department notifies nearby stations of the discoveries and often sends inspectors out to check pumps.
“The best thing consumers can do is to talk to the gas station about what security it uses for the pumps,” said Michelle Wilson, Association Director for the Division of Weights and Measures. “People can always pay with cash to protect their credit and debit accounts. If you’re ever concerned about someone stealing your account information, contact your bank or the company that issued your credit card.”