Credit card skimmers showing up more often at gas stations

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - Skimming devices to steal your credit card information are popping up at gas stations around the area.

Surveillance video from a station in north St. Louis County caught one man inserting a skimming device into a gas pump. What he doesn’t know is that he did something wrong when installing the skimmer, which caused the entire gas station’s system to go offline and alerted detectives to exactly what he had done.

A few days later officers heard about a second skimmer at a gas station. This one was found by a technician performing maintenance on the pump.

"We are seeing it more and more we contact a lot of different departments and they are experiencing the same thing so it is happening a lot," said Lt. Clay Farmer, North County Cooperative.

St. Peters police officers found two skimming devices at the BP on Salt Lick Road.

Officers said skimming devices on gas pumps are becoming more popular than those on ATM machines, mainly because the keys to get inside of the pumps are easily accessible, even being sold online.

They said the skimming devices can also be purchased online or homemade.

Cyber security Vinny Troia with Nightlion Security said skimming devices are hard to avoid and even your new chip credit card won’t act as an absolute firewall against them.

"Now at least with the advent of Apple Pay or Google Pay I try to use that whenever possible because it eliminates the need for credit cards all together, Troia said. "The credit card with the chips aren’t as secure as they were hoping they were going to be, part of the problem is when you use them you still have to put them in a machine and they can still pull the number from it."

Troia's best advice is to check your credit card statement regularly.

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