The latest scams in New England are very upsetting.  Whenever people take advantage of other unsuspecting humans, it's a sad day.

The latest scam to grip New England is the credit card skimmer.

If you don't know what a credit card skimmer is, it's a device the scammers attached to ATM machines, gas pumps, or regular credit card scanners to capture card numbers and steal information.

Card skimmers look the same as a regular card reader. However, they add depth to the panel, so if it seems like the reader is a little too big, it could be a card skimmer attached to the gas pump or ATM.

How do you know?  Well, companies regularly check their readers, but sometimes, especially during busy holiday rushes, they don't always make it a priority due to lack of staff.

KSAT12 via YouTube
KSAT12 via YouTube

Here's an example from over the Christmas holiday.  This happened at the Big Y chain of grocery stores in Springfield, Chicopee, Northampton, Ware, Southbridge, Milford, Wilbraham, Ludlow, and Worcester, Massachusetts.

According to, terminals were compromised when these skimmers were secretly installed in late December.  Customers were put on high alert to check their accounts for any suspicious activities.

Also, Sudbury Farms, in Sudbury, Massachusetts, found two self-checkout registers with card skimmers on them on Christmas Eve, according to Fox 4 TV.   It's hard to tell it's on the machine, because it mimics exactly what a legal card reader does.

Look for a large keypad that might seem a bit larger than it should.

As for gas pumps, check the card reader before you insert your credit card by giving it a tug, to make sure it's not an add-on reader.  Also, if you put in your pin number, cover the pin pad in case there's a camera inserted to watch what your pin number is.

What's even better is to pay as a credit card, not a debit card, so you won't have to add your pin number.

The says consumers should beware with the travel season coming up.

Let the buyer beware of these big-time credit card scams that could ruin your credit.

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