"It wouldn't happen to me. It wouldn't happen in a place like Augusta," Aaron Hampton says. But it did happen to him. While filling up at a local gas station, he became the latest victim of what's known as "skimming." Five minutes at the pump ended up costing him $400. "I was on the phone. I was distracted, but, something still was unusual. I don't know what it was. It wasn't a gut feeling. There was just something visually different about the pump."
It turns out, that pump had a device like this which is commonly used to skim people at ATMs. The device copies your card information. It's then duplicated onto fake credit cards that are sold online. Those cards are then given to people across the country.
GiGi Turner of the Better Business Bureau says there are ways to prevent becoming a victim. First, keep an eye out for anything or anyone watching you and your pin numbers. "Look around for soda cans, cigarette boxes, light fixtures. If the light fixture looks like if a camera was in there could it see me? A lot of times that's where the cameras will be hidden," Turner explains.
Once it's clear you're not being watched there's another step to take before inserting your card. Try to wiggle the card reader and make sure it's not loose. "If you wiggle the card reader it should not wiggle. So if it does walk away," says Turner.
If you don't walk away, one stop at the pump could accelerate your chances of being a victim. "You just have to stay vigilant and you have to keep an eye on what's going on around you," warns Hampton.
The best advice is to check the card reader every time you go to the pump or just pay with cash.
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