Be aware: Skimmers are stretching throughout St. Louis - KMOV.com

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Be aware: Skimmers are stretching throughout St. Louis

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Be aware: Skimmers are appearing all around the St. Louis area at ATMs and gas pumps Be aware: Skimmers are appearing all around the St. Louis area at ATMs and gas pumps

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – All around the St. Louis area, skimmers have been appearing at outdoor ATMs and gas pumps.

Skimmers are used to collect bank information from a credit or debit card from the card’s magnetic strip by placing an electronic device on an ATM or a gas pump.

Since the week of Nov. 16, St. Peters was the most recent spot where skimmers appeared. Now, they are spreading, specifically near Hampton and Chippewa in downtown St. Louis.

Before sliding your card through the card reader, “Pull on the card reader. If that card reader feels like it will pull a bit or is loose, I would not use that machine. It should be firmly in place,” said officer Melissa Doss.

Many gas stations apply a security tape on the pumps or ATM’s, but the criminals are sometimes using their own counterfeit security tape.

St. Louis police are putting out a warning: criminals are using skimming devices and portable cameras to record pin numbers being entered at ATMs and gas pumps. Police say the best defense involves careful inspection of the machines, looking for anything unusual. 

Another tip from police is to avoid using pin numbers at gas stations. Instead, use the debit card as a credit card. 

Police say that catching the thieves is not easy because the thieves move the skimmers around to other ATMs and gas pumps quickly, long before anyone realizes their card and pin numbers were stolen.

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