Suffolk Police warn of possible card skimmers, advise how to avoid getting scammed

SUFFOLK, Va. - Suffolk Police is alerting the public to be aware of possible credit card skimmers in the area.

The skimmers are placed on the outside of ATMs and gas pumps, and smaller treacherous cousins - shimmers - are placed inside machines.

These skimmers make it easy for criminals to capture your credit or debit card information.

Two devices have been found on gas pumps at the Miller Mart in the 2800 block of Pruden Boulevard.

The devices are believed to be installed between Saturday and Monday.  Suffolk Police suggest that if you used your card at the Miller Mart between Saturday and Monday, you should check for any possible fraudulent transactions and contact the Suffolk Police Department and your credit card company or bank to report any issues.

When you approach a gas pump or ATM, it is important to do the following to check for tampering:

  • Check top of the ATM, near the speakers, the side of the screen, the card reader itself, and the keyboard.
  • Check the security strip on the pumps for wear or tearing.
  • If the color, material, graphics or anything does not look right, do not use that device.
  • If you are at a bank, look at the ATM next to yours and compare them both. If one has a flashing card entry and the other does not, something is wrong.
  • If the keyboard doesn't feel right there may be a PIN-snatching overlay, do not use it.
  • Give the card a wiggle as you enter it into the slot because skimmers read the magnetic stripe as the card is inserted.

Suffolk Police say these tactics will not work on shimmers or with ATMs that capture your card and hold it during the transaction, but they are good ways to protect yourself.

According to Suffolk Police, these additional tips are good to avoid having your credit card information stolen by thieves with a skimmer or shimmer:

  • Check any payment terminal carefully.
  • Pay attention to your bank accounts and check the transactions in your bank or credit card account regularly.
  • Cover the keys when typing in your pin, don’t let the camera, or the person standing behind you, capture the PIN number.
  • Examine the keypad.
  • Use a credit card at gas stations as they have better fraud protections than a debit card.

Be alert and be aware to avoid credit card skimmers.