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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Protecting you and your family from thieves at the gas pump

WEST DES MOINES — Local 5 has been telling you about a man is going around the Des Moines metro with fake debit/credit cards, police said. Authorities say...

WEST DES MOINES — Local 5 has been telling you about a man is going around the Des Moines metro with fake debit/credit cards, police said.

Authorities say the gas pump is where you’re more likely to get your debit card information stolen. It happens all the time, and it’s unpredictable.

It can happen to anyone, and unsuspecting consumers normally can’t tell if a gas pump has been tampered with.

Over at the West Des Moines Police Department , Sgt. Dan Wade says there are signs if a card reader has been hacked.

“If you see tool marks around the area where the credit card or debit card is inserted that should be a warning sign for you,” Wade said. “Machines that need to be collaborated or certified once a year should all have a seal. Make sure you see the seal and it’s intact.”

Researchers estimate that 7 in 10 Americans will use their debit cards for any type of purchase during the holiday season, making it easier for thieves to steal your bank information.

The West Des Moines Police Department is making people aware of items that are being used to hack card readers.

“There are just some folks out there that will just prey on people because that’s what they do.”

So remember while you’re putting your info into the gas pump, look at the card reader and for the seal.

The best way to tell if a gas pump has been messed with you can tug on the card reader and the skimmer will, normally, fall off.

Another thing to keep in mind is look for a seal.

If it’s broken, that means a skimmer probably messed with it.