Skimming Fraud Alert - 10/04/11
A warning was issued on Monday, October 3, 2011, for consumers who recently purchased gas from one (or both) of two identified merchants in the Paso Robles area.
The Paso Robles Police Department officers discovered and seized illegal credit and debit card skimming devices from two self-service gas pumps at local gas stations over the weekend. The first device was located on Friday, September 30, 2011 by employees of the One Stop Market at 2331 Spring Street. The employees of the store alerted police to the device after performing a routine check of their gas pumps.
The employees noticed a strange electronic device attached to the inside portion of the credit card reader of the pump. Officers responded and confirmed the device was not part of the pumps and had been installed to illegally collect consumer credit and debit card information.
After removing the first "skimmer" officers began checking all the gas station pumps in the City of Paso Robles. Officers located a second "skimmer" installed at the gas pumps at 1441 Spring Street, Steve's Gas. The device was installed in the same manner as the first device found at the One Stop Market.
It is unknown how many card numbers were collected or exactly how long the devices had been installed. Since the devices require manual downloading, investigators do not believe that consumer information was compromised. However, Heritage Oaks Bank strongly recommends that clients who purchased gas at these locations closely monitor their accounts for strange activity or transactions.
How to Protect Yourself from Skimming Fraud:
- Don't let your debit card out of sight. Watch carefully anyone who handles your card.
- Keep track of receipts and check your bank statements regularly to make sure you authorized all purchases.
- Report any unauthorized purchases to the bank immediately.
- Don't use a debit card reader if there are any signs of tampering.
- Don't swipe your card through devices that offer to clean the magnetic strip. Those are scams designed to capture your debit card information.
For questions about this or anything else related to your accounts with Heritage Oaks Bank, please contact us using one of the following methods:
- Phone: 805-369-5200, option #4
- Secure Messaging within your Online Banking profile
- E-mail us at HOBOnline@heritageoaksbank.com, OR
- Visit your local branch office.