High tech thieves are using devices to steal debit and credit card numbers from unsuspecting Mississippians at the gas pump, and the state attorney general's office is sounding the alarm.
Police departments in Byram, Clinton, Madison and Pearl, are investigating cases of thieves stealing credit and debit card numbers by attaching skimmers to gas station pumps. The devices are connected to the pump's card reader and can go unnoticed for weeks, while collecting card numbers. Chuck Harrison is an investigator with the Madison Police Department where they found two skimmers.
"These recent cases they've captured the information. They code them onto these cards and they go to a lot of local retail locations like Walmarts and Sam's Club, Best Buys and clothing stores. They can go anywhere they want," said Harrison.
Thieves can also make purchases online. Meredith Aldridge is with the state attorney general's office. They're warning Mississippians to take precautions.
"First and foremost is it's always easier if you go inside and pay with cash. We know it's not as convenient for consumers, but that is the safer way to pay," said Aldridge.
Aldridge recommends when using a debit card, process the payment as a credit, to avoid using a pin number and check card statements often. She says use pumps closer to the gas station entrance because thieves target ones further away. The AG's office is assisting law enforcement agencies in their investigations. The Clinton Police Department recently made some arrests in their case.