ST. CLAIR -- St. Clair's police chief gave Newswatch 16 some tips on how to prevent card skimming scams.
Last week, dozens of people in Sugarloaf Township reported they were victims of card skimming.
"There's just so much going on lately," Peggy Rebarchak of Brook Hill said. "I'm not surprised that they're doing this. It's just terrible."
Workers at Gould's Shur Save in Sugarloaf Township are always keeping an eye out for skimmers to help prevent the problem.
"We're taking it serious," Shur Save Assistant Manager Brent Radzwich said. "Every couple hours we're coming out to the credit card machines and just making sure that no one changed anything on here."
St. Clair police had an issue with skimming last year, so Newswatch 16 asked the chief for some tips on how to avoid it.
"They are not obvious," St. Clair Police Chief William Dempsey said. "They do require vigilance, and you have to be aware of changes than the last time you received gas."
Dempsey said skimmers can be placed anywhere, but the most common place they are found is on gas station pumps. He said customers want to look out for any changes in the pump's credit card machine, like a change in colors on the display of the physical machine or extra attachments.
"Make sure there aren't any obvious exterior devices in place, like shell type devices that clip on to the credit card receiving area at the pump," Dempsey said.
Not only that, he said everyone should monitor their bank accounts closely to make sure their accounts have not been hacked. Dempsey said if you do find a skimmer, you should alert the gas station or store immediately and contact police.
"It's a trend that we're dealing with right now and we're trying to combat it any way that we can, but we're also relying on the observations of customers," Dempsey said.
Chief Dempsey said there are skimming devices that can be placed on the inside of a credit card machine. In those cases, he said the store or gas station owner would need to regularly check out for the skimmers.