FONTANA (CBSLA.com) — Police Tuesday warned residents to remain vigilant against credit card skimming fraud that was recently discovered at a Fontana gas station.
According to the Fontana Police Department, officers responded Monday to the 16900 block of Foothill Boulevard for report of a credit card skimming device that was located inside of a pump at a Circle K gas station.
The manager called police shortly after noticing the device inside of pump No. 12, which is the furthest from the cashier, officials said.
Police said the suspect used a master key to open the gasoline pump and install the skimmer device inside.
According to police, there is no way to tell how long the particular device was in place as it did not appear to transmit information to the suspect, meaning that it was stored for retrieval at a later date.
Skimming devices read the magnetic strip off of credit cards and transmit the stolen information to suspects who use it for fraudulent purchases.
The Circle K gas station is now taking preventative measures by adding extra security features to each gasoline pump.
The Fontana Police Department offered the following tips to keep in mind for the next time you get ready to pay at the pump:
- If possible, have a credit card with only a small limit meant for purchases like gasoline. That way, if your card is compromised it wont be directly linked to your money.
- Consider paying cash for gasoline purchases instead of using your credit or debit card.
- Try to pay the cashier directly or use a pump that is clearly visible to a cashier. Pumps that are further away are usually the ones used by crooks to install the card skimmers.
- Check your account balances daily and immediately report any unauthorized charges or cash withdrawals.
This type of fraud is a growing concern across the U.S. at ATMs and gas pumps.
If you believe that your credit card information has been compromised, police encourage you to call your banking institutions or creditor immediately.