It’s hard to believe that such a low-level piece of technology like a credit card skimmer could be found at a California gas station but brazen thieves know no boundaries. According to NBC Bay Area news on their report on the incident earlier today (Nov. 14,2017) an influx of fraudulent charges reported to San Jose police prompted a call to their special tech unit which then found the credit card skimmer thanks to this one commonality. Reported cases of fraudulent charges all had, at one time or another in the past few days, purchased gas at this one particular Valero gas station in Gilroy, Calif.
In recent years, thanks to the rise of such high-tech crimes, San Jose Police rely on the expertise from special REACT (Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team) teams that are experts on this type of crime. Fortunately, this REACT team only found one affected pump. San Jose police go on to further warn people that purchased gas at 1190 First St.’s Valero Gas Station, to check their credit card statement for any fraudulent charges.
Although Credit Card skimmers are made to look like the devices they are being put over, that doesn’t mean there are some tell-tale signs you can look for. According to Card Fellow, credit card skimmers are oftentimes made from a different material from the rest of the gas pump, can be slightly off-centered to where it looks like a credit card receptacle should go, and will protrude slightly farther than normal. In addition, the surrounding area may have hidden pinhole cameras to capture pin numbers, a slightly harder to press keypad to register your entries, and phony looking seal stickers to replace the ones they’ve ripped off. Card Fellow even advises you to wiggle the credit card slot to see if it’ll wiggle around on its own.
Having your credit card number and pin stolen can be a total pain to deal with and although a lot of credit card companies will work with you to reverse charges they don’t recognize, someone along the way has to pay for what’s been done. As motorists, it would behoove you to heed this warning and be wary of pump skimmers at all locations. Or you could just pay with cash.