Police in Roanoke County are warning gas station owners to be on the lookout for skimmers.
Criminals attach the devices to gas pumps to try to steal people’s credit card information.
“I have never seen them,” said John Nutter, a gas station customer. “I don’t know what to look for.”
But now, according to officials, Roanoke County police officers have been stopping by gas stations along the Interstate 81 corridor to distribute flyers showing what skimmers look like.
“It’s very alarming because this can change a good day’s worth of sales to a negative,” said Anthony Ross, owner of the Exxon Tiger Mart and gas station on Peters Creek Road.
While no skimmers have been found at his gas station, Ross said, he is having his staff check the pumps two to three times a day to make sure they have not been tampered with.
“We’ve got several cameras outside,” he said. “We’ve got several cameras positioned inside the building. We just try to look for strange customers, any kind of car sitting in the parking lot.”
To avoid becoming a victim, Roanoke County police suggest checking the pump for loose parts, mismatched graphics and misaligned arrows on card readers. They also recommend making sure the PIN pad does not feel too thick and shielding the PIN pad as you enter your PIN.
Additionally, they suggest paying for your gas inside the shop and using pumps closest to the entrance of a business.
“Be diligent in watching,” Ross said. “If you see anybody messing with a pump, just make sure you report it.”
If you spot a skimmer, officials agree you should immediately report it to police. They also suggest regularly checking your credit card and bank statements to make sure you have not become a victim.