Police explain the risks involved with credit card skimming - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Police explain the risks involved with credit card skimming

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RICHLAND, WA - It seems scammers are finding new ways the steal money from people. Just a few days ago, Richland Police found a credit card skimming device well-hidden at a gas pump.

Reporter Stefani Zenteno talked with police about how to avoid getting skimmed, and scammed.

The skimming device was found at a Shell gas station at the corner of Williams Boulevard and Jadwin Avenue in Richland. Police found the skimmer attached to a gas pump on Wednesday morning. Captain Mike Cobb with RPD says it's been a while since they've seen a case like this one.

"This was a little bit unusual because instead of attaching it to the outside of the pump like it normally happens, they actually breached the interior, and so it was much more difficult to detect," Capt. Cobb said.

Credit card skimming devices are used by criminals to secretly steal a customer's credit or debit card information. Capt. Cobb says it may be hard to prevent it or avoid it, but there are a few things you should be aware of.

"The physical examination of the device itself, that's going to be more important," said Capt. Cobb. "And just keeping up with your credit card and online banking. If you can check that every several days. Again, it's going to take a little bit of time, but if you see unusual activity, reporting it is really important."

Richland Police are still investigating this case and looking at surveillance video.

"Economically, we've transitioned to more of a card-based society, it's to increase the ability to conduct transactions in a very short amount of time, but we just have to be aware because with that increased convenience comes a little bit of an increased risk. And we just have to moderate that and balance that."