Police: Use your phone's Bluetooth to locate skimming devices

Image 1 of 3

Police are warning people to look for suspicious devices that may be used to mimic the real devices at ATMs. (Photos: Prince William County Police Department)

Prince William County police are warning ATM users to beware of skimming devices after they were found at five different 7-Eleven locations in Woodbridge since last week.

The skimmers were found at these 7-Eleven locations in Woodbridge:

- 5041 Prince William Parkway
- 13660 Minnieville Road
- 4804 Dale Boulevard
- 7001 Dale Boulevard
- 14116 Minnieville Road

Police say over the past few months, other skimming devices have also been found at gas stations and other ATM locations throughout the county.

Prince William County police have provided the following tips when using your credit or debit cards at ATMs and gas station pumps:

- Do an external check of the ATM or gas pump area
- Slightly tug at protruding parts or on areas where your card may be inserted
- Check the keyboard, this should be one piece and not move when pressing numbers
- Check for security seals, if tampered with DO NOT use and notify an employee or police
- Also, check for wires and damaged or broken locks on ATM or gas pump panels
- Look for suspicious devices which may be used to mimic the real device
- If your bank offers the ability to use access codes instead of the card itself on ATMs, consider using the codes
- If you have to enter your PIN, use your hand to block the view from other people or hidden cameras
- If using a gas pump, try to pay with cash if you can or use a credit card, debit cards are a direct link to your money
- Also at gas stations, choose a pump in direct view of the cashier which deters tampering

If you are concerned about these devices while using an ATM or gas pump, police also say you can attempt to locate nearby skimmers by using a cell phone. Authorities say these skimming devices use Bluetooth technology.

Use your phone to scan for Bluetooth devices, and if you find anything that seems unfamiliar, especially ones that contain various numbers, letter or characters, it may be a sign of a skimming device. However, it is important to not connect your phone to the suspicious device.