Debit card skimmers found on Houston-area gas pumps

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There's warning for everyone using ATM cards in our area. Police in Texas City say debit card skimmers are being placed on gas pumps.

Gas stations, ATMs -- where ever you use a debit card -- could be hit next. Right now, the trouble spot is along the coast.

"We were notified by our credit union that there were some charges that did not look normal," said Jim Thompson, a victim of debit card skimming.

That call uncovered $1,500 in illegal charges made Jim Thompson's debit card during the Christmas shopping season.

"It could have happened sometime during the Christmas holiday's because that's how we shopped and we stopped at convenience stores and use them at gas pumps," he said.

While Thompson is not sure where his card was skimmed, Texas City Police say at least eight people have had their debit cards skimmed and then used illegally from Montgomery County all the way to Galveston.

Detectives say in many of the cases the cards were skimmed at gas stations. One skimmer has been recovered by the La Marque Police Department.

"It's wrong and it is unfortunately, and there is a lot of people who this is going to hurt bad, I mean everyone works hard to pay there bills and when someone robs you or steals from you it is pretty disheartening," Thompson said.

Thompson's credit union refunded his missing money but now he's ditching the ATM card when it comes to buying most things.

"I don't pay at pumps anymore. I go inside and pay the cashier because the odds are they are not going to be able to attach something on the device in front of someone working at the store," he said.

Low tech way to figure out if you are about to be a victim: grab the card slot give it a tug; if it is loose, do not use it.
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financeaction 13skimming
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