According to News 10 (WILX), skimmers were found at a gas station in Lansing not far from the Capital Region International Airport. With spring break starting next week, it is important to be aware of your surroundings when fueling up or using ATMs to access cash to enjoy your trip. Skimmers are most often found on gas pumps and ATMs. For more information on the Lansing-area skimmers, here is the WILX.com report, https://www.wilx.com/content/news/Skimmers-found-at-Lansing-gas-station-506529581.html.
Also, read the Financial 4.0 article below to find out more about what skimmers are and how to prevent becoming a victim of this fraud:
What is a Skimmer?
Because of technological advancements, skimmer technology has become cheaper over the years. A skimmer is a device that attaches to either a scanner, keyboard, or camera that records data from your credit or debit card.
Skimmers can be implemented at different places such as gas pumps, card readers, and ATMs. Gas pumps and ATMs are usually the main target because of the number of daily transactions. Some skimmers capture card information using a camera, which records you typing in your PIN. Some skimmers will also place a keypad on top of the actual keypad to capture your PIN. Another way skimmers can obtain information is through the black magnetic stripe on cards.
Here are some ways you can detect and avoid being skimmed.
Check for special seals
Gas pumps, card readers, and ATMs are solidly constructed. It’s a good idea to wiggle around the card slot to see if something is loose. If something is loose or comes off the machine, report it. If you are in doubt, the best advice is to not use the pump, card reader, or ATM.
Keep an eye on your credit union account
It’s important to check your credit union account and see what transactions have been made. If you feel like you might have been skimmed, report any suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.
Protecting your PIN
Your PIN is unique to you. To prevent your PIN from being stolen, cover your typing hand with your other hand. A person or camera could be watching you entering your PIN. When paying at a pump with your debit or credit card, you usually have the option to choose debit or credit. To avoid having your PIN stolen, choose credit - you won't have to type in your number.
Sticking with ATMs or gas pumps closer to a storefront can be safer because thieves might be worried about being spotted by workers or a surveillance camera. For example, if you are buying gas and paying at the pump, try fueling at the pumps closest to the storefront and not the road. The cashier can more easily monitor those pumps closer to the front.
Inspect the card reader and area around the key pad. Whenever you use your cards, look to see if there is anything suspicious. You could also look at a nearby pump, card reader, or ATM reader to see if it matches the one you are using.
If you believe you have been skimmed, it’s important to report it immediately by letting your financial institution know. The sooner you report it, the better!
Check out more stories below to help prepare you to travel financially safe next week. Enjoy spring break!