VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A local gas station has been hit. A customer notified the owners of Pungo’s Red Barn gas station that they believed there was a skimmer at one of their gas pumps.
Police were notified, and they discovered the skimmers were installed between January 1st and February 6th of this year. That means, credit card information has been stolen from customers for more than a month.
Melani Moreno believes she might have been a victim.
“Mine went to Amazon, and they were immediately buying large items and we were actually notified by our Chase Mariott and we didn’t even realize it was happening it was so quick,” Moreno said.
These devices are hidden, waiting for anyone to enter a card. The skimmer collects and stores the information from the card's magnetic strip.
Some of the newer models, thieves don't even need to come back to pick up that data. Some skimmers can transmit the stolen information over a mile away using Bluetooth.
Once the thieves have the information, they can use it to make fraudulent charges on the stolen accounts.
Virginia Beach police encouraged everyone to be on the safe side. Their best tips are: monitor transactions, choose credit instead of debit, and even go inside a gas station to pay.
Sometimes skimmers can be detected if it's a different color, shape, or if it wiggles when a card is inserted.
Meg Rask is one of the nearly 40 million Americans who get gas every day.
“That’s terrible, I mean that’s my money I save. You’re taking people’s life savings, or money they’re using for something and that just upsets me,” Rask said.
Police are still investigating but if anyone has any information that might help, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.