Police tips to avoid card skimmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police tips to avoid card skimmers

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

If you're not careful you might be paying more than you think when you fill up your tank.

That's because thieves have started putting card skimmers inside some eastern Iowa gas pumps.

Police are warning people to be vigilant, after a card skimmer was found at a Cedar Rapids gas station, on Blairs Ferry Road last week. 

Greg Buelow is the Public Safety Coordinator for the Cedar Rapids Police Department, and says these skimmers aren't something most customers notice when they go to fill up. That's because some skimmers, including the one just found, are put inside of the panel and out of sight.

The good news, police removed the skimmer before any data was taken by thieves. However, there could be more out there. 

Police said there are a couple of ways people can keep their information safe when going to the pump. One of those ways, checking for a sticker seal on the side of the gas pump. 

"If you, as a consumer go up there to get fuel and you see that this seal has been broken, you know that someone tampered with that gas pump and that you should not use it," said Buelow.  

However, many people, like John Desaulniers who was filling up at a local gas station, didn't know what those stickers were for. 

"Well it's certainly nice to know that, yeah I mean as I say I look at that and I would've thought that had more to do with fuel quality, rather than credit card safety. It's certainly nice to know that they are trying to keep an eye on it," said Desaulniers.  

If you don't see the seal, it may be worth paying inside or switching to a gas pump that's in eye sight of employees. Those gas pumps are less likely to be tampered with said Buelow. 

Since skimmers aren't always obvious, police say it's a good idea to watch your bank account to make sure you don't see any strange transaction. 

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