MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than a dozen incidents of credit card skimming from across the metro are being looked at by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Consumers been warned about skimming devices on card readers at gas stations and ATMs, and now investigators are sounding the alarm about self-checkout registers.

Police were called to the Lunds & Byerlys store in northeast Minneapolis after a store employee noticed a skimmer at one of their self-checkout lanes. Woodbury Police Commander John Altman says the same type of skimmer was also found at a self-checkout register at stores in Woodbury and St. Louis Park.

(credit: CBS)

“We were very surprised to learn that suspects were willing to go into an occupied store where there certainly were other customers around and employees around, and be willing to take the risk to put a skimmer on right there at a self-checkout,” Altman said. “The BCA was … actually asked to take over the cases because they do have a financial crimes task force and a financial crimes special agent that was ready and willing to take on these cases and really go after the suspects.”

Investigators are looking through surveillance video they believe shows a man and a woman installing the device. The video comes from the grocery store in Minneapolis and Woodbury.

So, what can you do to protect your money?

“Making sure you’re sure you’re using a chip card, and making sure that when you do use your chip card that the receptacle that you’re putting your card only reads the chip. It doesn’t have the ability to also read the magnetic strip,” Altman said.

He says using Apple Pay or Google Pay can help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

The BCA says consumers should look for anything unusual with the reader, like peeled back security tape.

It is also OK to stop and start over at another check-out. Terminals in well-lit, busier areas are more difficult for thieves to access.

Reg Chapman

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