With tens of millions of Americans traveling this July 4th week, the government is warning about a surge in crime at gas stations.
The Secret Service issued an alert about a scam involving devices hidden inside the gas pump to steal credit card numbers.
Secret Service agents are participating in a nationwide initiative to locate and recover illegal credit card skimming devices from fueling stations
Operations are being conducted at locations across 21 states and involving 36 Secret Service field offices with agents inspecting pumps for illegal skimming devices.
Skimming is a technique that uses electronic devices to steal encoded information on credit cards to commit fraud.
Criminals secretly install the small devices, known as skimmers, at gas pumps where they are able to capture the protected data of unsuspecting victims.
Fueling stations are a prime target due to the frequency of use and the criminal’s ability to install the devices and recover the stolen data undetected.
AAA is estimating this holiday week will be the busiest Fourth of July travel period in history with estimates of more than 44 million Americans hitting the road.
Credit card fraud is a Federal offense, carrying stiff penalties including heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences.
More information for consumers who would like to report credit card fraud or protect themselves can be found at www.secretservice.gov .
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