Monday, September 25, 2023

Card skimmer found in Flower Mound; here’s how to avoid them

A screenshot of the Flower Mound Police Deparment video about how to avoid credit card skimmers at gas pumps.

A credit card skimmer was recently found at a gas station in Flower Mound.

Police removed and investigated a skimmer found recently at the Texaco at 516 Flower Mound Road, according to the Flower Mound Police Department. Police tried to get surveillance video to show potential suspect(s), but the business’ video system was not working at the time. The detective was not able to develop any leads and the case is inactive.

These devices aren’t especially common — there has been one other case in Flower Mound this year, and it is also inactive — but they can have big impacts on victims. The devices steal credit card information when the card is swiped at the gas pump, and the crooks can use that data to make fraudulent charges.

In 2017, FMPD offered tips to drivers to help them avoid being victims of credit card skimmers at gas pumps.

The department posted a video on social media in which Officer James Pulis provided the following tips to help avoid skimmers:

      • Choose a pump that is as close to the store as possible, because criminals are most likely to target the ones farthest from the store.
      • Look the pump over. If it looks like there is something new, or there’s an attachment that doesn’t exactly match the rest of the pump, or if the seal covering the electronics cabinet appears broken, don’t use that pump and tell the clerk.
      • Use a credit card, not a debit card.
      • Always take a receipt.
      • Most modern skimming devices are equipped with Bluetooth, enabling the criminal to collect data from a distance of 25-30 feet. Before you run your card, check on your smartphone for a strange Bluetooth device with a long list of characters.
      • When in doubt, pay inside.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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