LUBBOCK TX - Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller warned Texans about the surge in credit card skimmers at gas pumps Monday. Miller said all the thieves need to steal your money is a laptop and wireless Bluetooth connection.
Miller said there are a couple of ways to check the pump for a skimmer before using it.
"Go to settings, hit Bluetooth, and let it search," Miller said, "If you see something on your phone that has a long string of letters or numbers, that's probably a skimmer. Other stuff, you'll recognize."
Checking for a security seal can also be helpful. If the pump doesn't have one or it's busted, call the attendant before pumping. Miller said it's also unlikely that a skimmer would target a pump in plain sight.
"When you're fueling up, try to use a pump...when you're fueling in front of an attendant. Very seldom will a crook try to open up a pump that can be seen by an attendant."
Probably the most obvious way to check is by taking a closer look at the card reader.
"Grab on it, pull on it," Miller said, "Most of the time, they'll just come right off if it's fake."
If you think you've caught a skimmer, you can file a consumer report yourself.
"If you have any problems, my name and phone number's on every pump. If you get cheated at the pump, or get bad fuel, call us and we'll have one of our inspectors come right out," Miller said.
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