Everett Police Warn Of More Skimming Devices On Local Gas Pumps, ATMs

November 18, 2022

Police Blotter

This in from the Police Department in Everett, Washington today via social media.

Example of skimmer device provided by Everett Police Dept.

Our Financial Crimes Detectives have reported an increase in reports of “skimmer” devices. Skimmers are a fake credit card reading device placed over a legitimate card reader at ATM’s, gas pumps, and retail points of sale. Sometimes, a small camera may be installed nearby to record your PIN or a fake keypad may be installed to record your keystrokes.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim to skimmers:
1. Do a quick scan. Before using any machine, take a look to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. If the card reader seems loose, crooked, or damaged, if the graphics aren’t aligned, or if part of the machine is a different color, don’t insert or swipe your card. If there is another machine nearby (such as two ATM machines next to each other) compare them to see if there are obvious differences. For example, if one machine has a flashing slot to insert your card and the other doesn’t, that may be an indication that there is something wrong.
2. Be wary of non-bank ATMs. FICO reports that 60% of skimming occurs at privately-owned ATMs. These are typically cash-dispensing machines and tend to be located in convenience stores, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, or check cashing establishments.
3. Check the keypad. If the numbers are hard to press or feel thick, it might have a false keypad installed and you should move on to the next machine.
4. Block your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand in case a camera is recording your number.
5. Use mobile wallet. An alternative to swiping your card is paying by mobile wallet including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay.
6. Use the “tap” option for payment.
7. Pay inside. If your local gas station hasn’t yet updated their pumps to accept mobile wallet or your aren’t sure if the machine is safe to use, go inside the service station to pay. Taking an extra minute to walk inside could save you a whole load of problems later on.
8. Stay in public view. Always try to use machines that are in public view with security monitoring – these machines are less likely to be tampered with.
9. Check your account regularly. Technology is advancing and so are skimming devices so the best thing you can do is monitor your account. Rather than wait for your monthly statement, check your account regularly using online and mobile banking. This way, if anything were to happen, you can catch it immediately and report it to the bank or local credit union where your accounts are.
10. Sign up for alerts. See what type of fraud alert system your card provider has in place and take advantage of it. While fraud is not 100% preventable, catching issues immediately will save you a lot of headaches.
11. Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.
12. If you find a skimming device, report it to the location manager immediately.


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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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