Card skimming devices found on gas pumps in western Massachusetts

There have been reported cases in Northampton and Amherst

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – You may have heard of card skimming devices on ATM machines, they read and then steal your information.

Well now those same devices are being illegally installed on gas pumps as well.

In the last month, the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs found skimmers at the Northampton Street F.L. Roberts station in Easthampton, as well as the Northampton Street F.L. Roberts in Amherst.

Experts say skimmers are now harder to spot. Nowadays, they’re placed inside the card reader.

That was the case in Northampton and Amherst, but there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

“If you’re fearful of the gas station ones, pay for your gas inside,” Chris Bovino of Northeast IT told 22News. “There’s a lesser chance that the ATM scanner inside is going to be tampered with because there’s going to be someone standing there. Take a look at the gas pump you’re using your card at, look for anything that doesn’t look like it should be there.”

Customers should pay attention to the void label at the pump.

“Usually I don’t use the pump itself now that all of this is coming up,” Enrique Vasquez of Springfield told 22News. “I go inside the station and have them scan my card inside.”

The Office of Consumer Affairs is also urging service station owners to regularly check their pumps.