DES PLAINES, Ill. — A credit card skimmer was discovered Saturday morning at a grocery store in Des Plaines.

Just after 8:30 a.m., officers were dispatched to Shop & Save Market, located in the 500 block of Metropolitan Way, on the report of a suspicious incident.

A manager of the store reported that he found a skimming device placed on one of the credit card machines at a cash register.

Police believe the device was installed at around 6:30 a.m. on Friday.

No suspects are in custody.

Skimmers typically attack the most vulnerable cards which require the swipe of a magnetic strip.

Earlier this year, FICO released the following tips.

What should consumers look out for?

  • When consumers go to make a payment, they should take a close look at the part of the device where they insert their card. If anything about it seems loose or looks disconnected from the actual system, that should be a red flag. If something looks suspicious, you should not complete the payment.
  • Recent advances in technology have enabled fraudsters to have more sophisticated and harder to detect card skimming technology. For example, fraudsters will install microscopic cameras at the top of ATMs or other points of sale that look like a small pinhole. Consumers should keep an eye out for any small holes or disjointed parts of the payment system that might be capturing their confidential information. Fraudsters will use these cameras to observe your PIN code, so it is very important to make a habit of completely covering the PIN pad when entering your information. 

How can consumers protect themselves from card skimming?

  • Consumers should always look for ways to use the most secure payment mechanism. Generally, the weakest method of payment is using the magnetic stripe on your card. If your card has a chip or supports contactless payments, those payments methods are more secure. If you are in a situation where you have to use the magnetic stripe, take a moment to heighten your awareness and make sure to shield your PIN code. 
  • It is important to set up alerting with your financial institutions. Many banks enable their customers to set up real-time alerts that will notify any suspicious transactions or certain transaction types or characteristics such as exceeding a certain dollar amount. By taking advantage of the technology that your financial institution offers, consumers can better protect their funds.