Cape Girardeau police warn of credit card skimmers on gas pumps

Cape Girardeau Police have gotten an uptick in reports of skimming devices on gas pumps that will steal your credit card information
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 5:33 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2023 at 6:17 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Filling up your gas tank is a normal part of your routine.

You may not even think twice about swiping your card at the pump.

Cape Girardeau police want you to take a closer look the next time you fill up your tank. They’ve gotten an uptick in reports of skimming devices on gas pumps that will steal your credit card information.

“Pull on any of the, where your card goes in, make sure it doesn’t come off easily,” Patrolman Bobby Newton recommended.

Newton said making sure the card reader is secure doesn’t take long and it’s worth it. Because if they do get your information, they can do a lot with it.

“They can go online and make purchases, they can actually get fake cards made with your number on it and make purchases with your card,” Newton said. “Anything you can do with your credit or debit card, they’ll be able to do as well.”

Jason Johnson is visiting his mom in Cape Girardeau. He drove from Alabama. On his trip, he filled his tank up five times. He said he doesn’t think twice when he’s swiping his card.

“Well, I ain’t gonna lie, no, I just scan it, and I fill it up,” Johnson said.

Skylar Mackins pays inside with Apple Pay. She has had issues paying at the pump before, so she always goes into the gas station.

“I feel like it’s safer to just go inside a store and do that,” Mackins said.

Newton agreed. He said going inside lowers the risk.

“There’s employees watching those machines most of the time, so it’s a little bit harder for them to get inside and alter those machines,” Newton continued.

There are also ways to protect yourself in case your information is stolen.

“A lot of banks offer automatic notification. If there is something that’s not normal with your card, they’ll notify you right away and sometimes even block that transaction,” Newton said.

As for Mackins, she plans to continue to pay inside.

“Would you rather somebody hack into your card, and somebody take all of the money off your card, or would you rather go into the store and know that your card is safe, and nobody has your information, nobody will take any money off of it,” Mackins added.

If you do find a skimming device on a gas pump, Newton said you should notify employees at the gas station and call your local police department.