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Crooks using credit card skimming devices strike again

A gas station was targeted in Southern Highlands
Posted at 11:20 PM, Dec 26, 2016

Thieves are using skimming devices to steal credit card information in the valley. The latest incident happened at a gas station near Cactus Avenue and Southern Highlands Parkway.

"Wouldn't have a clue," said customer Don Valandingham, "how do they do that."

A local FBI special agent tells 13 Action News the theft is virtually undetectable.  You're at risk every single time you use your credit card.

Skimming is when thieves plant a device on a card reader.  When you insert or swipe your card, the device captures your account information. 

The readers at the Southern Highlands gas station are back to normal after police were alerted, according to a worker. 

"Would I still get my gas if they did that or no?" asked Valandingham.

Local authorities said you wouldn't even know it happened until it's too late.

"I got a call, a text, and email," said mom Serena Lam.

The credit card company told Lam there was unusual activity on her account.  

Her information was stolen as she was filling up her car just three weeks ago.

"I closely monitor everything," she said, "and I also never use my ATM at the gas station because that would drain your bank account immediately.

A total of 23 skimming devices were discovered in October, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.  Each is capable of collecting 500 credit card numbers.  It's possible for one device to help crooks get away with 2 million dollars.

You can protect yourself by monitoring your credit card and bank statements.  If there are bogus charges, report them as soon as possible.  

When you're at the ATM, experts say you should look for evidence of tampering.  As for the card readers at the gas station, wiggle them with your hand and make sure they're secure.