Bakersfield Police Department is warning the public about skimmers at payment terminals, like gas pumps. The illegal devices are attached to legitimate credit card readers that can capture your card information and compromise your account. They are reported to have been used in the Bakersfield community, so authorities recommend using caution when paying for goods or services via credit/debit card.
The FTC has a few tips listed on their website to help avoid skimmers:
• If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way, the PIN is safe and the money isn’t deducted immediately from your account. If that’s not an option, cover your hand when entering your PIN. Scammers sometimes use tiny pinhole cameras, situated above the keypad area, to record PIN entries.
• Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges.
• If you're really concerned about skimmers, you can pay inside rather than at the pump. Another option is to use a gas pump near the front of the store. Thieves may target gas pumps that are harder for the attendant to see.
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