CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If high gas prices weren’t enough to worry about at the pump, CCPD is warning drivers about an increase in card skimmers at local gas stations.
“There are several groups, we don’t know if they’re local, or out of town, but we believe there are groups going around,” said Lt. Emily Perez. “We don’t have anything concrete yet, just because it’s happening throughout the state.”
Perez said CCPD has seen an increase in skimming devices since November.
From May 2021 to August 2021, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation received 42 reports about suspected credit card skimmers in Nueces County. From September 2021 to today, they have received 43 reports.
Perez said it might be hard to distinguish if there is a skimming device on a pump.
“There’s nothing distinct that stands out,” she said. “The only thing we noticed are those security labels that are possibly tampered with, torn, and that’s when we advise not to use that one. If it’s a different color from the other pumps at that location, then we advise to just go inside and pay inside.”
Virginia Robles is visiting family from San Antonio. She said she often doesn’t remember to check the pump before getting gas.
“Most of the time, I honestly forget, and I don’t know the things I should be doing,” she said. “But, I’ve seen sometimes you can pull it out, so I just kind of touch it, see if it can retract, if not, then I usually just go for it.”
Todd and Geana, visiting from Oregon, said they don’t have to worry about the issue at home, since they don’t pump their own gas. However, they are still wary of it.
“Normally, when I fill up, I try to check and make sure the sticker is intact. Because, then if I don’t see the sticker is intact, I know there’s a problem,” Todd said. “I usually use my credit card when I buy, just because I know there’s extra security on that, versus when I use my debit card.”
Geana said she still pays attention to skimming devices when she uses the ATM.
“They showed us what a fake skimmer would look like, and that’s what I look for when I use an ATM, but yeah we don’t have to worry about it pumping gas in Oregon,” she said.
Perez said the safest pumps to use are the ones closest to the front door.
“We try to say be at the closer pumps that are in the view of the cashier, that’s normally where your cameras are set up,” she said.
But Perez recommends to be sure, pay inside with the cashier.