Back in the day no one got scammed – or skimmed – at the pump. You walked inside and paid the clerk behind the counter. Photo by Tim Mossholder.
Reports of skimming have come in across several Missouri counties.
Chief Deputy Greg Armstrong with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department said officials have heard reports from Poplar Bluff, Missouri all the way up to cities in Jefferson County, Mo.
He said skimmers were reported at banks and ATMs in places like Desloge, Park Hills and Farmington, Mo. Armstrong said the county has taken several reports of skimming incidents.
“You just hear about it so much,” said Debra Houston when talking about skimming.
“Fraud is around in the communities that we’re in,” said Ben Brinkman, Bank of Missouri Network Administrator.
Brinkman said skimming happens when thieves use a device to steal your credit card information.
“They would lay something over the pin pad to capture the customer pin number. They would overlay a device on the card reader,” said Brinkman.
According to Brinkman, they can also insert the skimmer into an actual card reader.
“I think about it when I’m at an ATM,” said Houston.
Another place you can run across a skimmer, at the gas pump. But Brinkman said it can happen anywhere you use a credit or debit card.
“It’s becoming harder and harder these days to determine what’s fake and what’s not,” said Brinkman.
So he think it’s a good idea to take your business inside.
“There’s more visibility inside so they would be more nervous to go inside to put the skimmer on,” he said.
He also recommends using one hand to cover your other hand while putting in your pin number.
“You should always be on the lookout for anything that has the potential to capture any of their information,” said Brinkman.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Office says if you use your card at the pump, check the device to ensure it doesn’t pull free of the pump.
The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office has issued a stop and hold for a white KIA van with out of state license plates, similar to the one below.
Authorities are looking for a KIA van with out of state plates in connection to the skimming (Source: Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook)
If you see something suspicious, contact Iron County Dispatch at 573-546-4000.