The next time you want to use your credit or debit card to pay at the pump or withdraw cash from an ATM, you may want to think twice. Chad Pittsley, a pipeline inspector with Whiting Petroleum, lost about $2,000 in the past few days due to identity thieves called credit card skimmers. It also happened to one of Pittsley’s co-workers and he wants to help get the word out what happened to them, so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Credit card skimmers place a small electronic device known as a skimmer over the top of the existing card slot at the gas pump or ATM and can retrieve your card number this way. Pittsley didn’t notice the loss right away, so he had to try to retrace his stops — he had used his card to pay for gas at two Dickinson gas stations, one on East Villard and another in south Dickinson. Also he stopped for gas at two Belfield gas stations as well.
Pittsley reported the crime to Dickinson police and a detective told him he’d make a note of it, but didn’t file a report since the $2,000 in charges were in various other states such as Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, plus he didn’t even know which gas station the crime had occurred at, according to Pittsley. “The (police) dispatcher hadn’t even heard of it (credit card skimming),” he said. Neither had the gas stations Pittsley alerted after the skimming took place, which included Rosie’s Food & Gas in Dickinson.
Pittsley has lived in the Dickinson area for a year now, but his bank is still in Nevada. He said his bank has reimbursed all the money stolen from his account. Here’s a link from an ABC online news article that offers tips to protect yourself against credit card skimmers: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/credit-card-skimming-tips-to-protect-yourself/