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ST. PETERS, Mo. – Police in St. Peters are cautioning residents to be careful when paying for gas after officers were notified of the discovery of skimmers at one area gas station.

According to Officer Melissa Doss, a spokeswoman for the St. Peters Police Department, police responded to the Mobil gas station in the 400 block of Mid Rivers Mall Drive on Thursday morning. Two internal credit card skimmers were found inside two pumps.

“I go there every single day when I go to work,” said Casey Falkegren, a customer. “That’s where I go to get my energy drinks and I filled up my gas (Thursday). That’s kind of scary, you know?”

Credit card skimmers can be placed internally or externally on ATMs and gas pumps and typically utilize Bluetooth technology to relay stolen debit/credit card information.

Skimmers can be difficult to detect. Police recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Check the pump door to ensure there is security tape over the cracks of the door and that said tape hasn’t been compromised
  • When using the pump to pay, opt to use a credit card instead of a debit card. Unauthorized credit card charges can be easily disputed, whereas debit card information leads directly to the money in your bank account and can take several days to recover.
  • Choose pumps that are closest to the physical gas station or are easily visible to a clerk, as criminals do not want to be caught.

Investigators think it’s possible the skimming devices were inside the gas pumps for a couple of days and are advising anybody who recently pumped gas at the station to check their bank statements.

“I think it’s pretty awful. Too bad (crooks) can’t put that energy into doing something honest,” said Deanna Stiegemeier, who lives in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Peters Police Department hotline at 636-278-1000.