Skimmer with Bluetooth found at Exxon 7-Eleven in northwest Austin

Crime

State inspectors found a credit card skimmer in one of the pumps at a 7-Eleven Exxon gas station in northwest Austin Wednesday. 

The Texas Department of Agriculture says it responded to a complaint at the store located at the corner of Ranch to Market 620 and Anderson Mill Road and found pump #15 had been tampered with. 

The inspector believes the skimmer also had a Bluetooth signal on it. Just last week, the agency said its inspectors saw the Bluetooth signal in use for the first time.

Customers are urged to check for unusual Bluetooth signals before they start pumping gas. 

A spokesman for the TDA says more reports of suspicious Bluetooth signals have been coming in since Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller shared a video asking people to watch out for them.

“I figured, you know, might as well just check just for kicks, and sure enough, there actually was a Bluetooth signal,” said Austin resident Travis Ballantyne after he found a suspicious Bluetooth signal at a Shell station off of 183 and Anderson Mill Road on Friday.

“They said, ‘Look out for random numbers and letters,’ and, sure enough, it was a bunch of random numbers and letters.”

Ballantyne took a screenshot of the odd signal and showed it to the clerk inside. The gas station didn’t confirm to KXAN whether a skimmer was found, but when Ballantyne checked the pump with the odd signal again on Wednesday, he said it was no longer in service.

Customers are encouraged to use pumps in plain sight of the cash register and to check for broken security tape over the pump cabinet.

If you believe a pump might have been tampered with, you should contact the TDA at 1-800-TELL-TDA. You can also read how to protect yourself from credit card fraud at FTC.gov.

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