Watch for card skimmers at gas pumps, MN Commerce Department warns


The Minnesota Commerce Department is warning people to be careful paying at the pump.

The department put out a news release saying criminals may be using credit card skimmers – small electronic devices that collect credit or debit card information.

Fox 9 says says this follows the arrest of three men who are accused of putting skimmers on gas pumps at Bobby and Steve's Auto World in Bloomington.

The men – who are from Kentucky – were caught messing with the gas station pumps on the company's surveillance camera, the news station reports.

According to Fox 9, the men were caught before any information was stolen from Bobby and Steve's Auto World. The suspects admitted to trying to install credit card skimmers to sell the information to people in Kentucky, the station notes.

And on Tuesday, The Sun Post says the Robbinsdale Police Department reported a possible credit card skimmer found on a gas station pump.

According to the paper, an employee reported a suspicious device. Police removed it and will have the device evaluated by the Hennepin County Crime Lab, the Sun Post says.

There are ways to protect your credit card information. The Minnesota Department of Commerce says people can be on the lookout for skimmers. Before swiping your card, look for signs that someone has been tampering with the pump. If you see scratches, tool marks or broken security seals, report it.

You also reduce your risks by selecting "credit" instead of "debit" and not entering a pin number at the pump, the department notes. Or just pay inside.

The electronic devices can also be installed on ATMs or similar machines. According to the ATM Marketplace, skimming fraud accounted for more than $2 billion stolen from ATMs in 2015.

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