A rise in credit card fraud and identity theft has led the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to issue an official warning to the public.
Mostly focused around the Carpinteria area, gas station card readers are being rigged with “skimmers,” a device that reads the victim’s credit or debit card information, sending it to the would-be thief. The Sheriff’s Department says that $50,000-$100,000 dollars can be stolen from a single infected pump.
The department advised citizens to avoid paying with a card at the pump if possible, and to pay attention to the security seals on the pump itself. If the seal broken, the device has likely been tampered with.