skimming

Sierra Vista Police advise customers to check the security seal on gas pumps before inserting a card for payment after a suspected skimming attempt was discovered at a local station Friday.

SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista Police Department advises motorists to check for security stickers at local gas station pumps as a precaution to avoid falling prey to skimmer devices that steal credit card information, after management at a local gas station reported one of their pumps had been tampered with.

Management at the Valero gas station located at 3999 E. Fry Blvd. reported the tampering today, although no skimmer device was ultimately discovered. May Armstrong, manager of the gas station, told police that she discovered two security seals on one pump had been tampered with while she was conducting the daily pump check.

If the seals are damaged or tampered with, the word “void” appears across the sticker. Armstrong also noticed computer wires had been pulled out of the machine.

SVPD officers found that the pump had been opened but no skimmer device was located. It is possible the individual trying to attach such a device was scared off before completing the job. SVPD is working with Valero to review security footage to see whether the suspect can be identified. Armstrong said Valero checks their pumps daily and that they will automatically shut down if a skimmer device is attached, not allowing the credit card to be scanned.

SVPD officers made contact with personnel at every gas station in Sierra Vista and advised them of the situation. All gas stations reported having similar security measures in place and that they check their pumps at least once a day, with some checking as many as three times each day. All gas station managers advised pumps are designed to shut down automatically if a skimmer device is attached to the pump.

As an additional precaution, SVPD advises motorists to check for security stickers on the pump before placing their credit card in the machine. Security stickers are found either on the front or side of the pump where the access door is located. If a motorist finds a security sticker with “void” across it or if the sticker is missing, they should notify gas station management immediately.

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