The Johnson County Missouri Sheriff's Office took to Facebook yesterday to warn area residents that scammers may be using credit card skimmers to steal people's credit card information at gas pumps in the County.

The Sheriff's Office says that while investigating the fraudulent use of a credit card they suspect a card skimmer was being used on a gas pump to obtain the victim's credit card information. The Sheriff's Office goes on to say they want to inform the public of possible card skimmers being used or located in our area and to ask everyone to pay attention when paying at the pump.

If you don't know card skimmers are malicious card readers that illegally read data from your credit or debit card's magnetic stripe. In many cases, they're attached to a real payment terminal and allow a scammer to steal your personal financial and account information. And gas pumps, are a prime target for scammers who use skimmers because they can be placed externally over the real card reader. Or, if the scammer has a key to get inside the machine, internally.

According to an infographic shared by the Johnson County Missouri Sheriff's Office, you can protect yourself by paying attention before you run your card at the gas pump.

  • A lot of times skimmers will be placed at gas pumps that are poorly lit, and are furthest from the station and closest to the street.
  • They'll be deployed at pumps or stores with little to no video surveillance.
  • A tell-tale sign can be not seeing tamper-resistant tape or seals on the pump, or broken ones.
  • And out of date pump inspection stickers.

Before pumping your gas and inserting your credit or debit card, you should inspect the card reader on the pump. Compare it to other pumps. If it looks different, or it's loose or wiggles when you touch it report it. Additionally, you should look for broken or missing tamper-resistant tape.

If something looks sketchy about the pump's card reader, tell an employee of the store, or report it to the local police department. And above all, if something seems off, go inside the store and pay for your gas, find a different pump, or get your gas somewhere else.

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Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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