Police: use your phone’s Bluetooth to search for skimming devices

(WSVN) - Credit card skimmers have been around for years, but now thieves are becoming more sophisticated with their methods of stealing your information. There’s a new way police are encouraging consumers to avoid becoming fraud victims.

The Secret Service says new Bluetooth data skimming devices are being used by thieves to rob consumers. Once installed on a gas pump, it is powered by the pump’s own electricity, according to Fox 29.

Photos: Prince William County Police Department/Facebook

Thieves are then able to collect data remotely with a laptop, without ever having to directly access the gas pump again.

Fox 5 reports that police in Virginia have come up with a list of tips on how to check for skimmers at ATMs and gas station pumps:

  • Use your phone’s Bluetooth to scan for nearby devices. If you see options that contain various letters, numbers, or characters, it could be a sign of a skimming device. But police say it is important to not connect your phone to the device.
  • Tug at protruding parts on the machine or where your card should be inserted. If they appear loose, do not use.
  • Check the pin pad, which should not move when pressing buttons.
  • Look for tampered security seals. If they appear disturbed, notify an employee or police.
  • At a gas station, choose a pump in direct view of the cashier, which deters tampering.
  • Try to pay with cash whenever possible, or use a credit card instead of a debit card, since credit cards offer more fraud protection.
Photos: Prince William County Police Department/Facebook

Posted by Prince William County Police Department on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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