WARNING: Credit card skimmers can possibly steal info via Bluetooth

Commissioner Miller and the Texas Department of Agriculture are warning Texans to be aware one or more fuel pump cred card skimmers have been found. Texas Department of Agriculture responded to a complaint at this location and found a credit card skimmer in pump #15 (7-Eleven Store #36599) between 620 and Anderson Mill in Austin.

Local law enforcement was notified and was on its way to the scene for follow-up and removal of device Wednesday afternoon.

If paying at the pump with a credit card, these tips might help you avoid becoming a victim of a gas pump skimmer (Texas Dept. of Agriculture)

  • Use pump closest to storefront, in line of sight for store personnel
  • Before pumping, check for unusual Bluetooth signals with ID of string of numbers and letters; might be a skimmer
  • Check that security tape on pump cabinet has not been damaged. Torn tape might indicate cabinet opened without store personnel's knowledge
  • Safest bet is to pay inside with cash

"A consumer went to a location and got $20 worth of gas, the next day they actually looked into their bank account, they saw the $20 withdrawal and then also noticed a 90 dollar withdrawal."

Philip Wright with the Texas Dept. of Agriculture says what’s unique about this skimming incident, is the gas pump skimmer may have used Bluetooth to take a person’s information. They’re waiting for investigators with multiple agencies to confirm that. "Many of these devices are now Bluetooth enabled. This reduces risk for the criminal. They have to get this information in the liquid fuel pump. If it's Bluetooth enabled they don't have to go back to the device and pick it up, they (thieves) can access the information from Bluetooth and have it retrieve data from the skimming device."

Wright says this is becoming more common, which is why they’re warning folks to be more aware. A card skimmer using technology could be anywhere from 12 to 50 feet away to access this information.

Some thieves even gaining info out of the country.

He adds, last week there was another skimming incident reported in Austin, and the Bluetooth name “enablebluetooth” may have been used.

The ever-changing patterns of skimmers makes it more difficult to track down.