A look at credit card skimmers
The Idaho Falls Police Department is investigating the installation of five credit card skimmers.
The credit card skimmers were discovered at two Phillips 66 gas stations, one on 475 W. 17th St. and the other on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Skyline in Idaho Falls.
Credit card skimmers are usually found at ATMs and gas pumps, and most people don't notice their information has been stolen until they see unusual activity on bank statements.
Criminals can buy credit card skimmers online, or even make it them with computer chips.
They are installed inside card readers at gas stations. They are not visible, so you wouldn't notice that you're swiping your card in a machine that's been tampered with.
"When the customer comes in and slides their card in the card reader, the skimmer reads the card information and transfers it into the card reader located inside the gas pump," said Idaho Falls police Chief Mark McBride.
Employees at the two Phillips 66 stations noticed malfunctioning gas pumps and discovered the credit card skimmers during inspection. In less than 12 hours, all of the card skimmers were discovered and turned over to police.
"We did recover these five. We don't think the perpetrators got any information, because they do have to come back and physically remove these to get the credit card information," said McBride.
Conrad Bischoff, the owner of these stations, spent $22,000 to add security measures at their Idaho Falls gas stations.
The police department also notified all gas stations in Idaho Falls and all pumps have been inspected.
The safest way to pay at the gas station is to go inside and pay with cash or credit card.
The police department has the surveillance video of the culprits installing the card skimmers and McBride said once they're identified, they could face felony charges. The U.S Secret Service in Boise is also involved in the investigation.
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