UPDATE: CPD warns public of skimmer at the gas pump
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
Gas prices may be low this summer, but you could still end up getting swindled at the pump.
Chattanooga police reported Tuesday that skimmers, machines designed to steal vital credit card information, were found on pumps at a Hixson area gas station.
"The criminal will take that information and generate a new card, a new plastic card with your information on it, so you'll still have your card in possession and somebody will be out spending money on your account," said Chattanooga Police Officer Mark Frazer.
Ofc. Frazer said a store employee found skimmers, which can be used on gas pumps and automated teller machines, on eight out of 10 pumps during a routine check at the BP station at 5012 Hixson Pike.
"Definitely makes me glad I don't use those," said customer Ben Tuckerman.
Tuckerman learned credit card skimmers were at these gas pumps after he filled up his tank but he said he learned early on not to pay outside.
"I have a brother who used to do IT and he's always told me just go in the gas station and pay," he said.
Chattanooga Police said that's good advice.
Office Mark Frazer said skimming machines are a common and effective way to scam customers.
"The average consumer doesn't know what a skimmer looks like and that's why it works so well," said Ofc. Frazer.
Police said surveillance cameras show a man driving a red truck and lingering around the gas pumps last week.
They believe he could be installing the skimming machines onto the gas pumps.
It's not clear long the machines were on the pumps, or how many people could be victims.
If anyone sees suspicious activity on their account call police, and your bank.
"You know how big of a pain this is, you know this will take you weeks if not months to clear up," Ofc. Frazer said.
Authorities said not use any machine that appears abnormal, to contact the store manager, and also to use debit cards as credit, as the credit option doesn’t require a PIN.
Chattanooga Police said the best way to avoid being a victim is to go inside the store to pay for gas.