WTSP Tampa is reporting that New Port Richey Police found a credit card skimmer at the Sonoco on US19 north of Gulf Drive.
The skimmer was found during a state inspection after employees reported an issue with printed receipts. Credit card skimmers are external devices that are illegally placed inside the pump card reader. The device was found on pump number seven. All customers who have recently used the Sonoco are asked to check their credit card and debit card billing.
The skimmers work by hijacking the power supply on the pump and either transmitting the credit card information used for purchases, or writing the information to a memory disk which then has to be manually removed. Experts say that the skimmers are often installed by gas station employees looking to take advantage of the access to the machines.
Bay News 9 previously reported that more than 6 skimmers had been found this year in the Bay area. This skimmer is the first to be found in New Port Richey.
Credit card users are relatively immune to the skimmers, as additional security is usually needed to use the cards, and the users are most often protected by fraud prevention from credit card companies. Debit card users are at more risk, as both the card numbers and the users’ pin (entered manually on the device) can be accessed. Experts recommend using only credit cards at gas stations rather than debit cards. They also recommend only using gas stations that you frequent.