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Spotting a card skimmer before you swipe

It can be hard to tell if a gas pump reader has been tampered with. The Amarillo Police Department has some things you should look out for this busy holiday travel season. (ABC 7 Amarillo - Morgan Burrell)

Several hundred victims are coming forward after Amarillo Police released information on Wednesday that eight credit card skimmers were found on pumps at the Murphy USA gas station near I-27 and Georgia.

It can be hard to tell if a gas pump reader has been tampered with. The Amarillo Police Department has some things you should look out for this busy holiday travel season.

"It's the holiday season and so those people that don't want to work, all they want to do is be thieves, this is when they hit because we're all in a hurry," said Amarillo Police Department Sgt. Carla Burr.

Between the hustle and bustle along the Canyon E-Way is a one-stop-shop for many Amarillo drivers.

"Walmart is right here next door and I come each week," said Robert Burns Wadley, who fills up his gas tank at the Murphy USA. "I tank up once a week and I buy groceries once a week so it's very handy."

Where Wadley buys gasoline is also where an employee found eight card skimmers over a week ago.

"I had no idea. In fact, that's quite alarming," said Wadley.

Sergeant Burr said it is alarming, but this type of crime can be easy spot.

"At the gas pumps, they're usually put on the inside," said Burr. "But, all pumps have those stickers that show on the outside. So, if that's torn, that's an indicator it's been tampered with."

Burr also recommends customers make sure there is not something attached to the outside of a card reader.

"Even the little part that you slide your card into, touch that and jiggle it because if it's one that's added onto the exterior, it'll move," said Burr.

Burr said if you still feel uncomfortable, the safest method is to go inside the gas station and pay the attendant in person.

"If we can do that little step that we can do to protect ourselves, it's good," said Burr.

Wadley said it is an extra step that will protect him in the long run.

"I'm also going to be checking my invoice from the credit card company to see if there's any unusual charges from this gas station over here," said Wadley.

If you think you might be a victim of this fraudulent activity, you are asked to calI your bank immediately and then file a police report with APD.

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