Texas Department of Agriculture

Credit Card Skimming Devices Found Inside Pump at Gas Station in Van

Android phone detected Bluetooth signal of skimming device

The Texas Department of Agriculture says credit card skimming devices were found Thursday at a gas station in Van.

Inspectors with the TDA responded to two complaints at the Grab N Go gas station on the 600 block of Main Street and found two credit card skimmers in pumps 3 and 4. The skimmers were found in the lower portion of the pump. The fuel station didn't know the skimmers were there and is not facing any charges over the devices, officials said.

The TDA did not reveal how many people used the skimmers, but did say Van police officers were among the victims.

Consumers are encouraged to be aware at the fuel pump. If the credit card scanner looks like it may be loose or as if it had been tampered with, or if the TDA sticker on the pump has been compromised, move to another pump or pay inside and then notify the TDA by calling 800-TELL-TDA.

On Wednesday, NBC 5 published a report where TDA Commissioner Sid Miller showed how to avoid being a victim of credit card skimming and even how to use your mobile phone to check for skimmer devices.

In a video, Miller said thieves often use Bluetooth technology to retrieve the stolen data. By turning on Bluetooth and searching for nearby devices, you could detect a long string of numbers trying to connect to your device -- that could give you an indication that there is a skimming device nearby.

In the case of the skimmers found in Van, the TDA said an iPhone did not pick up any Bluetooth signals, but an Android device did.

The TDA routinely inspects over 400,000 fuel pumps statewide. During those inspections, if a skimmer device is found the TDA involves local law enforcement to remove the device and conduct an investigation.

If you notice fraudulent charges on your account, contact your financial institution immediately.

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