The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced this week that they found eight credit card skimmers at gas stations across the state.

Credit card skimmers are a real problem especially if someone steals your credit card information. The other problem is the fact that it's really hard to tell if someone has placed one of these theft devices on a pump that you're using. The skimmer itself is placed inside the space where customers scan their credit cards to purchase gas.

Gary McDowell, MDARD Director:

These criminals continue to try and use gas pumps to commit theft and steal your personal information for fraudulent use. These inspections are just another way MDARD is protecting Michigan consumers at the pump. Kudos to our weights and measures staff for their vigilance in protecting consumers pocketbooks and personal identification.

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These crooks know that the majority of people simply pay at the pump, which makes for an easy target. The smart thing to do is to pay with cash but a lot of people don't even carry cash anymore.

The skimmers were found at these gas stations:

  • FlexxMart, 496 Main St, Belleville
  • Sunoco, 40200 Michigan Ave., Canton
  • Admiral, 4315 Chicago Drive, Grandville
  • Sunoco, 5843 S. Martin Luther King, Lansing
  • Mobil, 1500 Haslett Rd, East Lansing
  • Admiral, 5342 Westnedge, Portage
  • Admiral, 3221 Division St, Wyoming
  • Mobil, 1396 Ecorse Road, Ypsilanti

How to detect or avoid card skimmers at the gas pump

  1. Check the pump panel for tampering. ...
  2. Inspect the card slot and the PIN pad (compare with other pumps). ...
  3. Be on the lookout for hidden cameras. ...
  4. Avoid the PIN pad entirely. ...
  5. Choose the pump closest to the gas station

For the most part, it's really hard to detect a skimmer unless you're really looking for it. Let's be honest, we usually pump and then leave. No one really inspects a gas pump before pumping gas.

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