TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - At least one gas station in the Tucson area has been hit by scammers.
According to a report from the Arizona Department of Agriculture, two credit card skimmers were found at a convenience store near the intersection of Oracle and Rudasill on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
The ADA does not include addresses in its reports, but the only gas station in that area is the Chevron located at 5960 Oracle Road.
The discovery in Tucson came less than a week after six skimmers were found at locations near Picacho Peak and I-10.
It only takes seconds for these skimmers to be installed. Michelle Wilson, the associate director of ADA’s Weights and Measures, said criminals can have the pumps open, re-wired and closed within 5-7 seconds.
Some don’t even need to be picked up afterwards. Wilson said criminals are now using Bluetooth or SMS technology, meaning they’ll get a text right away with all your information. Wilson said there’s big money in skimming and criminals will continue to become inventive.
Another reason it is still happening is due to gas stations not having chip reader technology.
Wilson told KOLD News 13 stations are preparing to make the switch which will add an extra layer of security, but that still does not eliminate your risk completely.
At least 80 skimmers have been discovered in Arizona so far this year, according to the ADA. There were 148 skimmers recovered last year, 57 in 2017 and 88 in 2016.
You check the list of all credit card skimmers found in Arizona HERE or in the map below.
The KOLD News 13 Crime Team first investigated skimmers in 2017. Here are some tips about protecting yourself.
- Inspect the gas pump and be suspicious if you see anything loose or damaged. If the store has adhesive security stickers, make sure they are not voided or appear broken. Wiggle the card reader to verify it is not loose. If you feel something is wrong, notify the attendant and pay inside the store. You WILL NOT break the machine by tugging on the reader.
- Ask store personnel how frequently they check for skimming devices or what measures they have in place to protect your credit card information.
- If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way the PIN is safe and money isn’t deducted immediately from your account.
- Use a credit card with a small limit solely for fuel purchases or pay inside rather at the pump.
- If you come across a skimmer, you should report it to you bank, the local police department and Arizona Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Services Division.
- Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity.
- Use dispensers in well-lit areas that are positioned in view of employees.
- Watch out for large vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and vans that park in front of fuel dispensers for long periods of time. Criminals have been known to use large vehicles to block the view of the dispenser from site employees while they install a skimming device.
- Watch out for people using electronic devices such as computers or tablets that may be sitting in vehicles near a fuel dispensing site. Some skimmers have been known to have Bluetooth capability, which allows criminals to download information from a skimming device when they are in range of the Bluetooth signal.