ST. LOUIS - Police in St. Peters are still trying to figure out how much personal information crooks got away with when they placed credit card skimmers on two gas pumps at a station there this week.
It’s a problem we’re trying to keep from happening to you, so we went straight to the experts to see how you can protect yourself.
Michael Barbieri, a cybersecurity specialist, says crooks are using high-tech ways to steal information, including blue tooth technology on skimmers. That technology makes it so the skimmer can read information from the chip on your credit card before you even swipe your card, he said.
“So it’s already here, it’s already got your information, you don’t even need to put the card in,” he said.
But there’s an easy way to check to see if a gas pump has one of those Bluetooth skimmers.
open the Bluetooth on your phone and look for new devices as you hold the phone up to the pump.
If a device you don’t recognize shows up, that could be a skimmer.
“Pretty simple – you’ve already got your phone in your hands most of the time anyway. So if a device pops up, I wouldn’t use that pump.”
Barbieri says these scammers tend to target people anytime around a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, when people are traveling more or using their credit cards more often than normal.