I-Team: Crooks now using Bluetooth to skim your debit cards

You don't have to look too far back to know that crooks have been hitting the Triangle with "skimmers" hard for months.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

- June 5: police found four skimmers hidden in gas pumps at a Circle K in Carborro.

- June 15: in Spring Lake, another gas station was hit. The tamper tape was found broken at the Kangaroo on Main Street.

- July 6: two skimmers were discovered at the Wilsonville General Store at Jordan Lake.

- July 14: a skimmer was found at the card reader inside a Sheetz on Highway 50.

- July 28: a skimmer turned up at the C-Mart Exxon in the 2400 block of East Club Boulevard.

Often, skimmers are hidden inside machines (gas pumps, card readers, ATMs, etc.) and can be nearly impossible to detect without close inspection.

Authorities warn that criminals are also going high tech by connecting skimmers buried in machines to Bluetooth devices and capturing real-time data from locations nearby.

EMBED More News Videos

The I-Team has quick tips for how to spot a skimmer.

Among the things you can do to protect yourself:

  • use a credit card if possible; many skimmers only work with debit cards

  • check your Bluetooth in settings for long strings of numbers or letters, which could represent a skimmer;

  • examine the part of the machine around the card reader looking for damage or anything out of place;

  • jiggle the card reader to make sure it sits snugly in the machine;

  • cover the pin pad with one hand while you type in your code.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.