Skimmers found at Dublin pumps
Eight callers have reported suspicious charges to their debit and credit cards after skimming devices were found at the gas pump readers at Dublin Stop.
The devices operate by capturing card numbers and verification information when cards are slid into the reader.
According to Dublin Police Department investigator Nanci Wilson, the station noticed one of the card readers wasn’t working and called someone to repair it.
The technician found one of the devices inside the reader, which prompted them to open all of the readers, revealing four of the devices among three of the pumps. Dublin Stop reported the discovery to Dublin PD.
Wilson said that Dublin PD went to check the other gas stations in town after the discovery and found no other devices.
Suspicious charges reported have all been traced to south Texas towns such as Mission, Edinburg and Alamo, Wilson said.
Wilson said Dublin residents have been wary about suspicious activity at the devices after Dublin PD posted on Facebook that the skimmers were discovered. One station manager who conducts daily checks on their card readers has been reported twice by callers who didn’t know what they were doing.
“It’sgoodthatsomebody saw it and reported it,” Wilson said, noting that the manager was also appreciative of the alertness of the callers. “They didn’t know it was the manager.”
Wilson provided several tips to residents so they can avoid being the target of such devices.
Her primary device is for customers to pay for their gas inside, where skimmers can’t be installed unnoticed.
She also advises people to use credit cards versus debit cards, so suspicious activity can be stopped and the payments aren’t automatically drawn.
If customers are paying at the pump, customers are encouraged to look for pumps in visible areas, especially in well-lit areas that can be seen by clerks at locations open 24/7.
Wilson said to also look for readers that feature number pads over touch screens because the raised button pads feature an extra level of encryption.
Pumps may also have a tamper-evident sticker to assure the customer that no one had opened the machine without authorization. Wilson said to inspect the stickers and check that they haven’t been broken or cut.
Above all, Wilson advises everyone to keep a close eye on their bank or credit card accounts. Typically, the people who install the skimming devices will ensure that activity isn’t being monitored by making small transactions in amounts like $1 before using them for larger purchases or withdrawals.
Banks and credit card companies allow users to sign up for text or email alerts that can help cardholders keep on top of unauthorized purchases. She also reported that banks are aiding in this by being more proactive in calling their customers about unusual activity.
Anyone noticing any unusual activity or finding unauthorized purchased is advised to call Dublin PD at 445-3455.