CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department want to warn the public about credit card skimmers. There have been numerous reports of credit card skimmers that have been discovered at self checkout registers at supermarkets across the island. A credit card skimmer is a device that is attached to an actual card reader. The skimmer scans or “skims” credit or debit card information when a card is used. These skimmers can exist anywhere credit or debit cards can be swiped.
Although skimmers can be hard to spot, it’s possible to identify a skimming device by doing a visual and physical inspection.
Before using a point of sale terminal, ATM or gas pump, check for alignment issues between the card reader and the panel underneath it. Skimmers are often placed on top of the actual card reader making it stick out at an odd angle or cover arrows in a panel. Compare the card reader to others at a neighboring terminal, ATM or gas pump and look out for any differences.
A physical inspection of a card reader and keypad can often reveal fraudulent devices. Feel around the reader and try to wiggle it to see if it can easily come out of place. Authentic card readers are robustly manufactured, meaning if any part of the card reader can easily move around, then it’s probably been installed illegally by a thief. If you suspect that a terminal has been tampered with, notify an employee immediately.
If you suspect that your card may have been skimmed, contact your credit card company. It is also a good practice to routinely monitor your account to detect fraudulent activities.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (808) 955-8300. The public may now send anonymous web tips to www.honolulucrimestoppers.org or via the P3 Tips app.