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Police find skimmer at San Luis Obispo gas station

Scammers use skimmers to steal information at the gas station
Posted at 7:35 AM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 22:30:37-04

Gas prices are still sky high and customers face another risk at the pump: Scammers using skimmers to copy credit card information.

“It’s kind of scary pumping outside with gas when you're using a debit card. Ninety-nine percent of the time I like to go inside so that they can scan it and they can read my chip that way," said Santa Maria resident Danette Parker.

In San Luis Obispo, police recently removed a skimmer from a local gas station. A skimmer is a device used to copy credit card information from card readers.

“Honestly, I go inside and talk to the cashier and make sure that the cashier actually goes ahead and runs required rather than going ahead and going to the pump and actually just making sure that the pump is reading your card just because sometimes they're not as safe," said Jose Avioa, another Santa Maria resident.

San Luis Obispo police say there are things people should look out for to avoid getting scammed:

  • Use credit instead of debit so you are not using the pin at the pump
  • Check for a safety seal at the gas pump and if it is torn or missing, report it to the clerk
  • Check for signs of tampering including pry marks or loose keyboards
  • Check your card bill each month for suspicious charges

“I haven't had any issues, but I have heard of people that have had issues before with their skimming and going ahead and having and having had had issues with priors prior or their previous bank accounts, like, for instance, some accounts coming up or some history coming up,” added Avioa.