ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As Albuquerque police continue their hunt for the thieves who have been stealing credit card numbers at gas pumps, across the city many drivers are trying to beat these thieves before they strike.
The thieves have been hiding skimmers inside gas pumps and ATM’s. Police say there are at least 19 still out there. Now gas stations all over the city are seeing long lines of people wanting to pay inside to ensure they don’t become a victim.
Police say they have no idea just how many victims could be out there, likely hundreds. They put the word out Monday after recovering three skimmers. But through their investigation, they learned there were at least 19 more.
The biggest question is where? Some drivers don’t want to find out the hard way, so they’re going inside to pay, or using cash.
“I’ve just thought it’s better to pay with cash you know, because it’s upfront and it’s right there and they can’t really scam you,” Albuquerque resident Andrew Romero said.
“So it’s just better to pay inside. It’s just safer, and it’s hard because you just want to get cash and not pay with cards. It’s just scary,” Wendy Moya said.
“So I figure if I’m going to pay with a card there’s always this risk regardless of where I go,” Olavarria Gallegos said.
Other Albuquerque residents agree, saying you can get scammed anywhere.
Police have released pictures of the suspects. They’ve been spotted purchasing items at local stores, including Walmart.
Police are suggesting residents keep a close eye on their bank and credit card statements. They say some of the fraudulent charges don’t even happen until a couple of weeks after your card has been skimmed.
The Albuquerque Police Department is telling people the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to pay inside. They sent out an alert Friday on social media to remind people.
Police say a sign there might be a skimmer inside a pump is if your card sticks, even just slightly when you go to pay.