Fairfax County police investigate credit card skimming

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FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Financial crimes detectives are investigating a series of skimming cases in businesses around the county between June and September.

Criminals use skimming devices to capture information from credit and debit cards.

Devices were found at the following locations:

  • June 8: Exxon, 5211 Ox Road, Fairfax
  • July 22: Exxon, 6330 Multiplex Drive, Centreville
  • August 8: Exxon, 8021 Leesburg Pike, Vienna
  • August 10: Exxon, 801 Dolley Madison Boulevard, McLean
  • August 31: Exxon, 3403 Holly Road, Annandale
  • September 16: Exxon, 6948 South Kings Highway, Alexandria
  • September 27: Gulf Oil, 8689 Richmond Highway, Alexandria
  • October 18, Wal-Mart, 6303 Richmond Highway, Alexandria

Police investigation shows some of the stolen credit card information was subsequently used at various ATMs to withdraw cash. Detectives are looking into whether any of these cases are linked, but suspect a number of gas stations were targeted because those locations had older-model machines that were easier to infiltrate and alter.

How can you protect yourself from skimming?

Financial Crimes detectives offer the following:

  • Inspect the machine; you may not be able to see the actual device, but look for pry marks, scratches or signs of tampering
  • Use your credit card (versus a debit/ATM card) when possible; your PIN can be recorded and it may be more difficult to have personal bank funds reimbursed
  • Protect your PIN; use your hand to shield anyone nearby from observing your entry; be aware of strangers standing close to you or who offer to help you with “broken” machines
  • Regularly check your bank and card statements for discrepant charges; if you notice anything fraudulent or questionable, contact your bank or credit card company immediately
  • Monitor and report even small charges; stolen financial information is often used for small, ordinary purchases, like gas or groceries
  • Try to use ATMs or machines in areas covered by security cameras
  • If you feel you’ve been a victim of financial crime in Fairfax County, you can report it online through the Financial Crimes Online Reporting (FiCOR) system.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact Detective. S. Reynolds at 703-246-7800 or Crime Solvers electronically by visiting http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org.