CBI Offers Skimmer Awareness Tips

08/29/2019—Summer may be winding down, but scammers remain hard at work trying to steal your personal information and money. Recently, an analyst with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) located skimmers at a gas station near Bureau headquarters in Lakewood.

The CBI Identity Theft/Fraud Unit is sharing tips to help protect you and your information from being compromised in this type of situation.

  • Inspect the card reader and the area near the PIN pad at the gas pump before inserting your card. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to tell if the pump has been compromised. Be vigilant!
  • Trust your instincts: When in doubt, use another gas pump.
  • Use your credit card versus PIN/debit card.
  • Consider paying inside the store and not at the gas pump.
  • IN ALL INSTANCES—even after checking the pump and being as safe as possible—monitor your purchases to identify suspicious activity on your card, and report it to your bank and/or credit card issuer accordingly.
  • Some credit cards have an app associated with it, which reports to you each time your card was used.  Take advantage of this tool because you can see what transactions you made in as close to real time as possible. 
  • Report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

“You need to be aware that any time you use your credit or debit card, it makes you vulnerable for your information to be skimmed,” said Identity Theft/Fraud Agent in Charge Ralph Gagliardi. “It’s critical that you remain vigilant in your efforts to protect your personal information whether online or in the community.”

Gagliardi adds that there are apps that may assist you in determining if a skimmer is being used in an area. “However, just like with any app, you need to conduct your research and weigh the benefits and choose safely, as some programs can access information from your phone.”