A credit card skimmer was found this week at a gas pump on Route 303 in Brunswick.
The skimmer was found by the staff of the Medina County Auditor's Office while they were doing routine inspections.
Police were notified and the device was removed.
Medina County Auditor Mike Kovack offers these tips on how to avoid being scammed:
- First of all, use a credit card, not a debit card to purchase your gas. You aren’t liable for fraudulent charges on your credit card (but be sure to report them to your bank), but if scammers gain your debit card information they may be able to drain your entire bank account. Additionally, most credit card companies will alert you to unusual use of your credit card. If you have a credit card with the new microchip – use it! These cards are more secure – although the data can still be stolen.
- Use gas pumps that are within the line of sight of the clerk at the gas station. Thieves are much less likely to try to install skimmers on these pumps because their chance of detection is much higher.
- Inspect the pump before you insert your card. If there is tape near the credit card reader or the device is loose, don’t use it. If there are any indications of a forced entry to the pump, avoid it. If there are unusual signs on the pump, avoid the use of that pump. Thieves have attached signs to some pumps with alternative directions, which allow them to skim your credit card data.
- Identity thieves can use your card numbers a lot more effectively if they also have your pin or the zip code you're typing in, so always cover the pad while you're typing, even if no one else appears to be around.
- Always check your credit card statements, even going online occasionally in between your monthly statement. Report any unusual purchases to your credit card company.