(DES MOINES, Iowa) Crooks who put "skimmers" on A-T-Ms and gas pumps work over-time on holiday weekends, trying to take advantage of the millions of people traveling, according to Patrick Dix of the Shazzam ATM network in Iowa.
He says it's a highly organized crime, and often when skimmers are recovered, the devices will be numbered, and placed strategically on ATMs and gas pumps along major highways and interstates.
Dix has some advice, including jiggle the device at the pump, if there's a skimmer it'll fall off. He says another "red flag" is if the security seal on a gas pump is broken. He also says run your hand around an ATM key-pad, to check for a hidden camera, that might capture your pin-number. The other bit of advice, keep a close eye on your accounts, always, but especially during big travel weekends such as Memorial Day weekend.
Consumers who pre-pay for gas, inside a convenience store or gas station, are not completely safe either.
Dix says there are devices that can be slipped over the card reader on the counter, when a clerk is distracted. He says, however, those devices are a little easier to spot.
This week Iowa City Police said they've had an uptick in reports of unusual financial activity, likely related to skimmers.