Area law enforcement agencies have responded to a number of complaints recently regarding the discovery of “skimming” devices on fuel pumps and ATMs across the Metro area.
The JPSO has made a number of arrests as part of ongoing investigations, but as these crimes can be very lucrative, there are always new groups entering the area to commit these types of offenses. Some of these devices can be easily identified or defeated, and JPSO is providing information in hopes that the public can use it to help us find these devices and prevent future occurrences.
There are a number of things to remember to help protect yourself:
When using any type of machine, be sure to look at the machine to see if anything seems out of place. If anything is attached to the machine that differs in color or construction, or simply appears out of place, be cautious about using it.
Before inserting your card into an ATM, give the housing that the card will be inserted into a gentle pull. Skimming devices attached will be pulled off with very little effort.
* ATM skimming devices are designed to fit over the card slot and are typically color matched to the existing slot. Before inserting your card into a gas pump, briefly scan the pump looking primarily for two things — the tamper-evident seal placed on the pump when inspected (if present), and a possible device across the top.
* If the tamper-evident seal has been cut or damaged, do not use the machine and notify the gas station attendant. Not all pumps will have a seal.
* The device contains a camera aimed at capturing PIN numbers. Always use your free hand to shield the keypad while entering a PIN number.
If you come in contact with a device, please call 911. Leave it in place whenever possible, and try to avoid handling it.
Anyone with information regarding the use of these skimmer devices is encouraged to contact our Economic Crimes Section at 504-364-5300, or contact Crimestoppers.