Credit Card Thieves Target Gas Pumps, ATMs, Restaurants With 'Skimmers'

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DeFelippi was caught by the Secret Service, but instead of going to prison, he spent two years training Secret Service agents in the art of skimming. “ATM cashing was the easiest and best way to make money,” DeFelippi said. “I was making thousands of dollars a day in cash doing that.”

His favorite target, he said, were gas pumps.

“[The skimmer is] hidden, the person using it will never see it, it’s simple to add, it’s simple to modify it. It only takes seconds to open it up and put it in there,” DeFelippi said. “They’re ubiquitous. There are gas pumps everywhere. You can easily find a gas station to do it at and go back and gather.”

Authorities say there are ways for customers to protect themselves from skimming fraud.

Marshall advised checking your credit card statements regularly. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, once you report loss or theft, you have no additional responsibility for charges you didn't make.

Second, if you’re at a gas station, choose a pump near the convenience store part of the station, close to the attendants. Experts say skimmers prefer to target pumps in the shadows. Finally, there is always the option of paying in cash.

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