Seven credit card skimming devices have been throughout Harford County, officials said.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office reported that in just the last three weeks, they've discovered six skimmers on gas pumps and one at an ATM at a convenience store.
Skimmers are found either within the credit card reader, or as an overlay that covers the credit card reader and is held on by strong tape on Velcro. Both version are hard to detect, officials said.
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Using cash at the pump for Desiree is the norm, however today she broke her habit.
"I didn't have cash on me so I used my card today," she said.
What she and other customers didn't know is that that harmless swipe is potentially harming their bank accounts.
"We go out and recover the devices and then see if there's anything that we can get from them forensically -- whether it be fingerprints or DNA," Sgt. Dawn Wolfe, with the sheriff's office, said.
She says in the last two months, collecting skimming devices around the county is becoming routine.
Investigators say just one skimming device can collect 36,000 different card numbers.
Locals are advised to regularly check their bank statements and to report any discrepancies or unfamiliar transactions to the bank and to police as soon as possible.
"...use it as a credit card, check your accounts frequently for any fraudulent activity. The quicker you find it, the better able we are to track it back to what establishment the breach may have occurred at," Wolf said.
“The sooner the discrepancy is discovered, the easier it is to track down when your information was stolen,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “Also, if you see something, say something!”
If you see someone tampering with a gas pump, especially if the door around the card reader is open and the gas station is closed, call 911.
The sheriff's office says the skimming can happen at any place at any time, but they found skimmers at Exxon gas stations in Bel Air, Forest Hill, and Abingdon.
There was also a skimmer found at an ATM at a 7 Eleven in Joppa.