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Don’t be a victim of card skimmers

2 years ago by in ( City Guide , News , Uncategorized , Welcome to Brea )


      Recently, I was the victim of a gas pump skimmer, a device attached to a gas pump’s card reader where you insert your credit card for payment. Skimmers are usually difficult to detect and can be installed in less than a minute, according authorities.

        The day I got skimmed I purchased about $38 worth of gas for my car. I used my American Express card for that purchase, but made no other purchases with it after that. I use that card mainly for automatic payments for my gym membership and other reoccurring monthly fees.

          The next day, American Express informed me that a charge of more than $7,900 was attempted with the card in Florida. Then four more charges were attempted in Florida with that card number – all denied by AmEx. Fortunately, AmEx refused all of the fraudulent charges, canceled my card and issued me a new one.

            So how did thugs obtain my credit card information? Very likely through a gas pump skimmer at the station, because I didn’t use the card anywhere else.

              Then I wondered if other people had the same experience and posted a message about what happened to me on  . Immediately there were posts from many people who said they had been skimmed at that same gas station and a few others in Brea.

                According to Jerry Glomboske, a Brea Police Department service officer, it is usually difficult to pinpoint where the card skimming occurred. That is because many of us use the same credit card to purchase gasoline as we do for groceries, shoes and restaurant meals. But one person on Nextdoor stated $140 in charges was attempted in Oklahoma the same day as she bought gasoline and hadn’t used her card elsewhere.

                  After my conversations with Glomboske on possible skimming at the station, the readers were checked by Brea police officers, but it had been at least two weeks since my skimming experience. No surprise that no skimmers were found. But Glomboske advises skimming victims to make a police report when a theft happens and try to identify where you think it happened.

                    Besides gas stations, skimming often occurs in restaurants and bars. So what do we do, carry wads of cash everywhere we go?

                      Some Nextdoor respondents lauded Costco gas stations because, besides cheaper gas prices, they have attendants walking around, keeping a keen eye on the pump readers. None of the 30-some respondents said they were skimmed at Costco.

                        Glomboske and Internet sources, including security expert Brian Krebs at, advise frequently checking your accounts for unauthorized use. Avoid using your debit card for purchases because the funds come directly from your bank account. Also, if the state inspector’s seal is broken, don’t buy gas at that pump, or at that station.

                          Let’s all be more aware in 2016.

                            Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at Don’t be a victim of card skimmers on Page 2 of Friday, January 01, 2016 issue of OCR - StarProgress
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"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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