Exton, Pennsylvania (WPVI) – Police are looking for three suspects who allegedly placed a scraping device on a credit card reader inside a 7-Eleven store in Exton, Pennsylvania.
West Whitland Police say officers responded to a 7-Eleven store on the 100th block on N. Pottstown Pike on Tuesday after finding the device at the main cash register.
Skimming devices secretly record bank account data from cards. Thieves can then use this data to steal money from the victim’s account.
Police say the package was placed around 8:30 p.m. on Monday. According to investigators, the suspects placed a small child on the counter to prevent the cashier from seeing the scraper.
“They put the baby on the table so the employee couldn’t see him,” said Detective Scott Besik of West Wetland Township Police. “So, the kid prevented what they were doing.”
The device has been on a credit card reader for several hours and may have damaged some customers’ data. The fact that it was found inside the store surprised some customers.
“When you walk into the store, you don’t expect it,” said Tracy Weatherly, who was getting gas from the store.
Others expressed outrage that the group used a child to help commit the crime.
“I think it’s absurd to use young children for anything like that,” said Stephanie Dowling. “It scares me that they can do something inside.”
Anyone who can help identify these suspects is asked to contact the police at 484-874-0358.
Anyone who has used a credit or debit card on 7-Eleven between 8:30 p.m. Monday and 12 noon on Tuesday is required to report any suspicious charges to the police.
Investigators say you should keep checking, because the charges may not come up right away.
How to detect skimming devices
The FBI says skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.
The skimmers can be placed at POS terminals, ATMs and fuel pumps.
The FBI has issued the following tips to protect yourself from skimming:
Terminal scraping for ATMs and POS
– ATM scrapers are usually compatible with the original card reader.
– Some ATM skimmers are inserted into a card reader, placed in the machine, or placed along exposed cables.
– Pinhole cameras installed on ATMs record the customer who enters his PIN. The placement of a pinhole camera varies widely.
In some cases, keyboard overlays are used instead of pinhole cameras to record PINs. Keyboard overlays record client keystrokes.
Skates store data for later download or wireless transmission.
Hints when using an ATM or POS machine
Inspect ATMs, POS terminals and other card readers before use. Look for anything that is loose, twisted, damaged, or scratched. Do not use any card reader if you notice anything unusual.
Pull the edges of the keyboard before entering the PIN. Next, cover the keypad when entering the PIN to prevent cameras from logging you in.
Use the ATM in a well-lit indoor place, targets that are less vulnerable.
Watch for skimming devices in tourist areas that are popular targets.
Use of debit and credit cards with chip technology. In the US, there are fewer devices that steal chip data versus magnetic stripe data.
Avoid using your debit card when linking accounts. Use a credit card instead.
Contact your financial institution if the ATM does not return your card after completing or canceling the transaction.
Skimming the fuel pump
– Fuel pump skimmers are usually plugged into the internal wiring of the machine and cannot be seen by the customer.
– Skimming devices store data to be downloaded or transmitted wirelessly at a later time.
Tips when using the fuel pump
– Choose a fuel pump close to the store and directly overlooking the worker. These pumps are unlikely to be targets for skimmers.
– Run your debit card as a credit card. If this is not an option, cover the keyboard when entering the PIN.
– Consider pushing inside with the worker and not outside at the pump.
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