Police officers in Whatcom County have reported active, ongoing crime involving card skimmers at gas stations.
Card skimming is the act of copying information from magnetic-strip credit and debit cards by inserting a device on top of a card reader slot. This gadget scans and stores card information, which fraudsters use to produce duplicate plastic to make unauthorized purchases or withdraw money from your account.
You can help protect yourself against card skimming by taking the following steps at gas stations:
- Use gas pumps in well-lit, high traffic areas
- Look for signs of tampering
- Wiggle the card reader and/or key pad; if anything feels loose or looks damaged, don’t use it
If you suspect that you may have found a skimmer, immediately notify the merchant. We recommend that you also contact law enforcement and file a report to ensure that they’re aware of this illegal activity.
If you believe you may have used a card terminal that had a skimming device on it, notify us right away so that we can take appropriate action to protect your account.