Beware of credit card skimmers at convenience stores: police

D.C. police want residents to be on the lookout for skimmers. 

Scammers recently set up three devices at local convenience stores in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th districts. The skimmers have been collected for evidence and police said they are investigating the matter. 

The 7-Eleven by 12th and U Street is where a credit card skimmer was found on Wednesday. 

Skimming devices are typically found on ATMs and gas station pumps, but this incident was inside the store on the credit card machine most people use to pay.

 A video of the credit card skimmer planted at the U Street 7-Eleven has gone viral. Within the clip, a patron appears to be upset when he notices his card isn't working on the device. 

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The man who took the video told FOX 5 that he had just recently seen a credit card skimmer video on social media, which made him skeptical when he noticed something seemed off with the point of sale machine at the U-Street 7-Eleven he frequently visits. 

The man who made the discovery tells us he was mad, confronting employees, believing they were responsible. 

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Later in the video, he pops off what appears to be a credit card skimmer device appended to the real credit card machine with double-sided tape.

"That’s what I wanted to do. Wake ’em up, everybody – pay attention," he said. "It’s real. It’s not just in other states, in other countries, it’s right here in your own backyard that it's happening. Be aware."

Corporate 7-Eleven says they are currently working with police.

"7-Eleven takes allegations involving card skimmers very seriously," the company said in a statement to FOX 5. "7-Eleven inspects gas pumps and card readers regularly and cooperates closely with law enforcement regarding related investigations. Customers who believe they may be impacted should call 1-800-255-0711."

D.C. Police Commander John Haines recommends residents lightly tug on the credit card machine if they're skeptical. If it’s loose, he says that’s a good indication something’s wrong. Another sign is if there's no company stickers or decals on the machine or if tapping to pay doesn’t work. 

Haines says thieves can add these skimmers in a matter of seconds.

D.C. police shared additional tips for patrons below:

  • Make sure the device isn’t able to be moved or budges when touched
  • Compare your machine to the one next to you, if applicable
  • Check the alignment of the card reader and the panel underneath it
  • Look inside of the card reader before inserting your card
  • If you see or suspect a card skimmer, please contact police immediately at 911
  • Notify your bank immediately if you suspect you have been a victim of card skimming

If you or someone you know is a victim of card skimming, please contact 202-727-4159. If you have any information about these card skimmers or the individual/s responsible, please contact D.C. police at 202-727-9099.