Boise police say people who got gas near Interstate 84 should check their credit card statements after a gas station employee discovered two credit card skimmers in the pumps Monday.
"Card users would never have seen the skimmers. The thieves have the technology to place them inside the gas pump," Boise Police Financial Crimes detective Wade Spain said. "The only way a citizen will know they've been victimized is to see a charge they didn't make on the statement from their bank or financial institution."
Boise police officials declined to identify the station or even say what neighborhood it is in, saying everybody who gets gas this way should be aware of the scam since there may be other skimmers in the Treasure Valley.
If you see a charge you know you didnt make, call your bank or credit card issuer immediately, Spain said.
A technician called in to fix malfunctioning pumps at the station found the skimmers Tuesday, police say. There is no way to tell yet how many victims there might be.
A credit card skimmer steals financial data from a credit or debit card when you use it a gas station pump, ATM machine, or any other remote purchase.
A skimmer, installed in the gas pump so that you cant see it, steals the financial information from the magnetic strip on the card and gives thieves access to your accounts. Police also say you dont need to put in your pin number for the thieves to access your accounts.
Detectives say thieves are able to install the skimmers quickly but taking them out takes longer, so if you see any suspicious activity at gas pumps should call 911.
Here are some tips from the FBI on how to avoid being a victim of the scam.
* Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it. Be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive/tape residue.
* When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
* If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
* Be careful of ATMs in tourist areas. They are a popular target of skimmers.
* If your card isnt returned after the transaction or after hitting cancel, immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.