Fresno skimmer thieves getting craftier

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police say they believe crooks are planting computer chips at pumps across Fresno and they think they doing it overnight when no one is looking.

Paying for gas at the pump's becoming risky business. "I used a credit card and they scammed it for $40," skimming victim Abraham Hizkias said.

Hizkias says he recently became a victim. "They sent me an alert like 'unknown transaction?' So, when I checked it 'yes,' it was a scam," he said.

Fresno Police say thieves are using a new type of skimming device, one they've never seen before. Rather than installing the card reader on the outside it's being placed inside the pump. "They'll open up the skimming device there and place in something like this to get the information off your card," Mark Hudson with the Fresno Police Department said.

The technology has been spotted at more than three Fresno-area gas stations. Police say the new type of skimmer can read your credit or debit card and also record your pin number. "If you think or feel something loose on the skimming device," Hudson said. "I would recommend going into the bank or go inside a gas station."

Officers say to also look out for other skimming techniques. There could be a camera or a stranger looking over your shoulder.

"I look around for that kind of stuff," Bob Moore of Clovis said. "More along the lines of people standing behind you and you making sure not too obvious about keying it in, maybe put your hand around it."

A couple extra seconds could save you a couple hundred dollars. "After that I stopped paying with credit and debit cards," Hizkias said. "I use cash only."
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.