INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 2, 2016) -- Gas prices may be low at the moment, but many customers are running into a different kind of pain at the pump.
This week, Indianapolis police are investigating nearly a dozen cases of credit card skimmers installed on gas pumps.
Those skimmers are designed to steal your credit card information.
Police say all the skimmers they have found since Monday have been at Ricker's stores.
Ricker's began to install alarms on their pumps, and discovered the devices.
“They’ve started to check the pumps and they’re finding the skimmers. It’s not a new activity, they’re just being discovered now,” said Sgt. Keith Minch with the IMPD fraud unit.
Police say it’s a crime that has become more common and isn’t unique to Indianapolis.
Over the last few months, reports of skimming have been made in Fishers, Carmel, Lawrence, Greenwood, Martinsville, Bloomington and Bedford.
“Nationally, it’s about a $3 billion a year crime,” said Minch.
Card skimming takes places when thieves plug a device and computer chip into the gas pumps.
It only takes a few seconds.
That’s why police are recommending all gas stations actively check their pumps, change their locks, or do like Ricker's and install alarms.
As for customers, there’s one sure fire way to stay safe.
“The only sure way avoid credit card skimming is to pay inside,” said Minch.
The chairman for Ricker's says the company is spending $150,000 to install the alarms. He says it is their number one priority.
In addition to paying inside, police also recommend customers use pumps close to the building because scammers tend to put the devices on the outlying pumps.