Police are looking to raise public awareness in the Okanagan following an increase of reported credit/debit card skimmers seized from fuel pumps throughout the B.C. Interior.
The Kelowna RCMP has recently learned of credit and debit card skimming devices being seized from gas station fuel pumps in other neighbouring jurisdictions, including one in Vernon.
Skimming is a two-part process designed to illegally obtain your credit or debit card number and your PIN (personal identification number).
A skimming device is typically installed into or over a card slot and works by reading the credit or debit card number during a transaction. A small wireless camera is also installed near the PIN pad, to record your PIN.
“Gently pull on parts of the machine, whether it’s a gas pump or an ATM,” said Const. Ann Donnelly of the Kelowna RCMP fraud section
“If a skimming device is attached it will most likely move when manipulated, and therefore something is wrong. Do not use the machine and report it immediately to the business.
“Cover your hand when entering your PIN. Getting the data off the mag stripe of your card is only part of the puzzle. A camera will typically be installed to observe the user entering their PIN.”
Additional skimming prevention tips:
n Look for irregularities in the decals on the pumps;
n Look for signs of a wireless camera installed near bye;
n Review your transactions regularly;
n Report any suspicious transactions to your bank immediately;
n Call the police if you observe any suspicious activity.
Police would also like to remind local businesses and the general public to be extra vigilant when accepting United States currency as there have been recently reported cases of counterfeit U.S. bills being passed in our community.
For more information on fraud prevention, please visit the BC RCMP Website at http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca.