How to spot a credit card skimmer this holiday season

Posted at 1:55 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 17:09:55-05

SUFFOLK, Va. - Police are warning shoppers to keep a look out for credit card skimmers after one was found at the 7-Eleven on Holland Road.

Police say the skimmer was found on December 1 by a contractor that performs maintenance on the pumps.  The device could have been installed sometime between November 2 and December 1, according to authorities.

Officials say skimmers are illegal card readers hidden at places like gas pumps so criminals can steal your credit card information.

If your credit card information has been compromised, contact police.

Here are some tips to keep your information safe from the Suffolk Police Department:

  • Keep an eye out for special seals placed over the front panel of the gas pump. Thieves need to lift the seal to get a skimmer inside the pump. If the seal gets lifted, it will read "void." If you spot a voided label, don't use the pump and tell the gas station manager.
  • Look for external credit-card readers that look different from the ones at surrounding pumps
  • Use your debit card as a credit card to avoid giving your PIN away. If you can't use your debit card as a credit card, shield your PIN number entry with your hand in case "tiny pinhole cameras" are installed.
  • You may also want to only use pumps located closer to the gas station storefront, where thieves might be more worried about getting spotted by a surveillance camera.