Thieves use sophisticated technology to “skim” credit card information

CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) A visit to the ATM can turn into a nightmare if someone has installed a skimming device. Police say the public should be aware of the warning signs, especially as thieves turn to more sophisticated technology, including Bluetooth.

'It`s basically like an internal drive at a gas pump,” Chesterfield Police Sgt. Keith Rider said.

Recently, a gas station attendant caught a group of men who appeared to be installing a card reader at a BP gas pump on Long Road. The suspects left and were unsuccessful installing the device.

Rider said tips to stay safe include checking to see if a safety seal has been broken. He also urges customers to use a credit card, instead of a debit card, in the event there are unauthorized charges. He also reminds customers to look for things out of the ordinary.

“Just make sure the colors match with the pump,” he said.

Skimmers and card readers have often been found at ATMS, and more recently at gas station pumps.

“These bad guys are doing now - they attach an internal skimmer. They use a universal key to get inside these gas pumps,” he said.

In many cases, the suspects come from out of town. They have hit communities throughout the St. Louis area, including the city of St. Louis, Glendale, Webster Groves, Webster Groves, and various north St. Louis county municipalities.