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Brentwood Police Department
Monday December 14th, 2015 :: 02:32 p.m. PST



In order to increase awareness, the Brentwood Police Department wanted to provide a tip on how to help protect your personal information when using a credit card at the gas pumps.

A commend trend among identity thieves has been the use of devices called “skimmers” to collect personal information from credit cards. In the past, skimmers were mounted on the outside of the pump (or ATM machine), over the real credit card reader. This old style skimmer was easy to recognize if the customer was paying attention and knew what to look for.

Identity thieves now use a new type of skimmer. The new skimmer is smaller, and is installed on the inside of the gas pump, behind the electronics panel. After the skimmer collects the personal information from the credit cards used, the thief can retrieve the skimmer and download it to his computer. To make matters worse, some skimmers have the capability to be accessed remotely (wireless). This means the identity thief can sit across the street and download the stolen information.

Since these new skimmers are installed INSIDE the gas pump, there was no way to know if the pump had been compromised. Fortunately, the gas station industry has come up with a solution in the form of “security stickers”. These security stickers are tamper proof stickers placed on the front panels of the gas pumps, connecting the panel to the main body of the pump. If the pump is opened by an unauthorized person (which is easily done), then the security sticker is broken. If it is opened by an authorized person, then the broken security sticker is replaced with a new sticker.

Attached are some photos of security stickers applied on one of the Chevron gas pumps. Also attached are a few google images of key pads and skimmers used to illegally capture credit card information.

To help protect your credit card information at the gas pump, look for an intact security sticker. If you find a broken sticker, do not use that pump and notify the attendant.

Please share this information to help protect your family and friends.

Brentwood Police Department
9100 Brentwood Boulevard
Brentwood, CA 94513

Emergency: 9-1-1

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