Criminal hackers have reportedly managed to install electronic “skimming” devices at 180 gas stations across the state of Utah.
According to Police Sgt. Troy Arnold, the automated “skimmers” copied card and PIN numbers, which granted the criminals “free access” to the victim’s bank accounts.
The stolen data was then used to withdraw more than $11,000 from ATM machines in Los Angeles.
“The skimming device [was] actually located inside the gas pump[s],” Arnold told ABC News.
“Without somebody notifying somebody, this device could actually sit on a gas pump for months on end without anybody ever knowing that it exists,” said Arnold.
Police are currently advising customers to pay for gas with cash, credit or debit cards inside station offices until triple data encryption standards are implemented in July.