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Calgarian encounters skimming device installed on gas station pump
Jeremy Ensign's photograph of the skimming device that fell from a gas station pump when he attempted to pay (Jeremy Ensign)
Published Thursday, August 18, 2016 5:31PM MDT
The Calgary Police Service is warning business owners and consumers to remain vigilant as criminals continue to attempt to gain access to banking information.
On Sunday morning, Jeremy Ensign went to fill his vehicle at a Husky location near the intersection of 52 Street and 106 Avenue Southeast. When he attempted to pay for his purchase at the pump, a piece of the payment machine became dislodged and fell off.
Ensign took photos of the device and contacted the Calgary Police Service. Police confirmed the item was part of a skimming device.
Ensign took to social media to warn others and his post has been shared more than 50,000 times in mere days.
CPS Detective Dean Nichol of the economic crimes unit says skimming devices are not new to Calgary.
“Criminal offenders will use various devices and various types of technology,” explained Nichol. “They will try to put an overlay or some similar device into the payment card system where a consumer would use a payment card to make a transaction in order to obtain the magnetic stripe data.”
Nichol says there are steps consumers should take to ensure their information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
“Be informed, know what to look for,” said Nichol. “As a consumer, if you’re going to be using your payment card in any sort of a point of sale device, or inside a gas pump, you’re going to want look at the device itself.”
“You want to look for any type of tampering, any anomalies, any abnormalities, anything that appears broken. You’re looking for loose bolts. You’re looking for plastic coverings over the PIN pad itself.”
The Calgary Police Service says anything that looks out of place should be reported.
“If something just doesn’t seem right to you, notify the retailer, notify the proprietor of the gas station and, if in doubt, the police want to know about this, notify the police.”
Representatives of the Husky gas station say they have checked all of their pumps as a precautionary measure.