MIAMI – Miami police are investigating after two credit card skimmers were found Monday morning at a gas station in the city's Flagami neighborhood.
Police said the skimmers were found at two gas pumps at a Chevron gas station on Northwest 42nd Avenue near Northwest 11th Street.
Police said they received a call about the skimmers around 8:45 a.m.
"I hope nothing happens to my card. I need my money," customer Lashelle Williams said. "It's very nerve-racking to know that that could be happening and I think that they need to be making sure they're taking care of everybody's card and protecting everybody that's using this product."
Crime scene technicians photographed the inside of the gas pumps, looking for clues that could lead them to the credit card thief.
"They need to get a job and stop scamming people or do whatever they're doing. Get a job and work hard like everybody else does," Williams said.
Customer Luis Navas said he's not surprised skimming devices were found at the gas station.
He said thanks to gas station skimmers, he's fallen victim to credit card fraud several times.
"It's very difficult because it's our money that we've saved and then this happens to us," Navas said in Spanish. "It's worrisome."
The Federal Trade Commission offers five tips to help you avoid a skimmer when you gas up:
- Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn't show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. This is part of a voluntary program by the industry to thwart gas pump tampering. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read "void," which means the machine has been tampered with.
- Take a good look at the card reader itself. Does it look different than other readers at the station?
- If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way, the PIN is safe and the money isn't deducted immediately from your account. If that's not an option, cover your hand when entering your PIN. Scammers sometimes use tiny pinhole cameras, situated above the keypad area, to record PIN entries.
- Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges.
- If you're really concerned about skimmers, you can pay inside rather than at the pump. Another option is to use a gas pump near the front of the store. Thieves may target gas pumps that are harder for the attendant to see.