Police: Watch for skimmers on gas pumps as you fill up this holiday weekend

Posted at 11:17 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 23:20:42-05

You may not think twice to pull out your credit card when you go to fill up. But Howard County officials say pay attention.

Many people are hitting the road for the holiday this week. Whether you're going to see friends or family or going to work, you'll have to fill up.  So police are saying to watch for skimming machines at the pump

Howard County gas stations are no strangers to skimming machines.   The most recent criminals hit two Exxon gas stations in Columbia.  One in the 10000 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, the other in the 8200 block of Snowden River Parkway.  

"I just try to use cash now. Because I'm not too particular about the devices that are on the machines," said resident Aaron Walker.

And police say he has the right idea.  The skimming devices were found within the last two weeks and police say as you hit the packed roads this holiday watch for anything suspicious at the pump.

"Usually when I do use my credit card I'm familiar with the gas station and the people," said Walker.

But you can never be too careful.  Both skimming devices found this month in Howard County were detected by employees. Skimming devices can steal pin numbers and other personal information then criminals sell the data or drain your bank account. 

"I'm always worried when I use my debit card anywhere I go, not just the gas station typically what I do is that I have credit karma and I check my credit," Lakeisha Jackman, told ABC2.

Those who pay at the pump hope they won't become the next victim others are shocked!

"I never heard of this before," said one customer.

Police say to look for signs of tampering at pumps especially where the security seal and keypad are, choose pumps close to the attendant and choose to pay inside.

"I'm going to think twice, three times all of it from now on next time I'm at the gas station," said another customer.

Another tip to protect your self is to choose credit instead of debit when pumping. Contact your bank immediately if you notice anything suspicious.