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Debit/Credit Card Warning

TULARE, Calif. -- The Tulare County Sheriff's office is warning residents to watch their credit card statements after a card skimming machine was found at two gas stations.

Sliding the card is a motion you make every time you visit the gas pump.

Now the Tulare County Sheriffs office is reminding residents to watch where they put their card after reports of credit and debit card skimming machines at two gas stations in southern Tulare County.

"It makes you nervous if it is here or any other store," Fernando Rubio, customer. 

Deputies said they removed the skimmers from the pumps.

Lt. David Singleton said the thieves usually open up the doors of the pump and attach wires to the system inside, making it difficult to notice.

"It is just a ribbon cable and and piece of electronics. It is usually some blue tooth adaptor. They are probably going to sit in a nearby car and download the data," said Lt. David Singleton, Tulare County Sheriff.
  
To protect yourself next time you are at the pump, Lt. Singleton recommends looking out for any broken seals on the pump doors or any loose or hanging wires. He also added that customers should use an indoor ATM and keep an eye on your card wherever it goes.

The 4 seasons Handy Market avoids the risk of skimming schemes by having customers pay for their gas inside with a cashier.

Everyone has heard the horror stories of the skimmers where people can put the systems on there so we avoid all that," Zech Smith, 4 Seasons Handy Market Manager.

Customers said it is a hassle to get out of the car but it is worth the protection.

"It is a little bit of an inconvenience but knowing now what I know, I would rather just walk up there and have them slide the card," said Fernando Rubio, customer.

Tulare County Sheriffs officials said they are investigating this crime. If you have any information you are asked to contact their office.

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