Dallas police are warning about new technology that is making it easier for crooks to steal your credit card information at the gas pump.
Police discovered at least five Exxon gas stations in North Dallas with wireless skimmers placed at the pumps that let criminals install them, leave, and remotely download your information.
Police say there's no telling how many victims are out there since the pumps are checked at random. One device was discovered only after the screen at a pump malfunctioned.
Shemeco Scruggs is like many busy drivers and doesn’t think twice about paying at the pump.
It's that kind of thinking that has tech-savvy criminals cashing in with the simple swipe of a credit or debit card.
“They're not visible from the outside of the gas pump and appear to be made by the same person or same group,” said Lieutenant Tony Crawford, commander of the Dallas Police Financial Investigations Unit.
In the past few days, investigators have discovered a new kind of card skimmer hidden inside several North Dallas gas pumps.
"The sophisticated technology is used with a Bluetooth connection, this is the scary part, to transmit the data,” said Crawford. “What that means is the suspect does not have to go back into the pump to retrieve the information that he's looking for.”
The five Bluetooth devices were found at Exxon gas stations within a ten mile radius. It was at the gas stations on Preston Road, Hillcrest Avenue, Campbell Road and Forest Lane.
The most recent discovery was made on Thursday at the Forest Lane Exxon, where Scruggs gets gas weekly.
“I got alarmed instantly, like oh wow,” she said. “Are they going to take my information now or did you catch them before?”
Luckily for Scruggs, the hidden device has already been removed. But with hundreds of gas stations across North Texas left unchecked, there’s no telling just how many more Bluetooth skimmers are still out there, waiting to be used.
Investigators say it’s pretty easy to get a key to the pumps since there are only a few types to choose from and can even be found online. To reduce your risk of becoming a victim, police advise to always pay inside and use cash when possible.