How to protect yourself from card skimmers

Card skimmer found in south Bibb County

We swipe to pay everything these days -- food, clothes, and especially gas.

“Most people just pull up to the gas station, they get their gas, and then they’re gone,” Investigator Dennis Terry with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office said.

He hopes people slow down at the pump, especially now that Georgia Department of Agriculture found a card skimmer at the Chevron station near the intersection of Houston Road and Hartley Bridge Road in Bibb County.

“When you swipe your card, it captures your information, your credit card number, your PIN number, and your zip code,” Terry said.

He says then it's transmitted to the crook wirelessly.

Terry says the one they found at the Chevron had been there about a month.

“I imagine that a lot of people have been through there and has used that pump,” Terry said. “Right now, we haven’t received any calls or have any reports stating that they felt their credit card was compromised.”

If you’re going to use a card at the pump, Terry recommends you grab the reader and make sure nothing Is loose.

“If it’s wiggling, then don’t use it. Contact the clerk and let them know something's not right,” Terry said.

He says the simple device only takes minutes to install, but can do a lot of damage.

“Criminals are smart these days. We just have to outsmart them,”  Terry said.

In an increasingly cashless world, your awareness could protect you.

The sheriff’s office offered a few other tips on how to protect your information at the pump:

·   Pay with cash

·   Use a credit card instead of a debit card

·   Keep your card in sight at all times

·   Check your bank statements regularly

If you find your account has been compromised, contact your bank. Then, call the Bibb Sheriff's Office at 478-751-7500.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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