The Indiana State Police are encouraging Hoosiers to protect themselves from card skimmers after a recent discovery of skimming devices during a traffic stop.

Police say fraudsters often utilize gas pumps as locations to install card skimming equipment used to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting victims.

A recent traffic stop by Trooper Luis Alvarez on the Indiana Toll Road led to the discovery of card skimming devices.  On Nov. 7, a trooper stopped a silver 2023 Chrysler for a moving violation in Elkhart County.  During the traffic stop it was discovered that the Chrysler was stolen. Items suspected of being used for credit card skimming were located in the vehicle as well as gift cards to load the stolen credit card information onto were also located.  Both juvenile occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody.  Evidence gathered by troopers suggests that this group has been active in northwest Indiana and locally.

Police say that tactics used by fraudsters continually change but there are some tips you can use to keep yourself safe the next time you fill up.

  • Pay inside.
  • Use tap-to-pay function. This keeps your card out of potential card skimming devices.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. This keeps your funds safe if compromised since a debit card is linked directly to your bank account.
  • Cover the keypad when entering your zip code or PIN. Fraudsters often use a pinhole camera to capture this information.
  • Check the reader and keypad for overlays that capture your card information.
  • Look to see that the security tape is not broken on the pump in the area of the card reader, suggesting skimming equipment may be inside the machine.

Police say to regularly monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and report anything suspicious to your bank and to law enforcement.