Skimming devices found at St. Landry Parish gas pumps

An increased number of skimming devices at gasoline stations are being found Louisiana, including in St. Landry Parish, by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry weights and measures employees.
Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, inspectors seem to be finding one or two skimmers on a weekly basis.
In the past month, at least 15 skimming devices were confiscated throughout the state. These devices contained approximately 4,000 credit/debit card numbers, according to the Secret Service.
The skimmers were found in Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, Rapides, St. Landry, St. Tammany, and Washington parishes.
Strain said, “Ask yourself, is it someone purchasing gasoline or someone manipulating the cabinet on the pump? As for the consumer, if you do not pay cash, we urge you to be vigilant in monitoring your credit card statements weekly, if not daily, for unauthorized purchases.”
New skimmers are smaller and easier to hide, he said.
Some of the newer devices also have Bluetooth capability which allows them to transmit the financial information that they steal.
Some tips to protect your personal information:
— Whenever possible, do not use the debit card function at the gas pump. Use it as a credit card in order to protect your pin number.
— Monitor your debit/credit card activity online and contact your bank to report unrecognized charges.
— Check the pump card reader for signs of forced entry like bent panels or broken security tape.
— Whenever using a credit card, try to use a pump that is easily seen by gas station employees. Pumps that are less visible are commonly targeted.
because crooks can easily install a skimmer which normally takes very little time.
— Check the pump card reader for signs of forced entry like bent panels or broken security tape.
Once the skimming devices are analyzed, all financial institutions affected are contacted by the Secret Service.

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