PGPD Issues Warning About Card Reader Skimming Devices

LANDOVER, Md. – The Financial Crimes Unit is issuing a community-wide warning about skimming devices. In the last week, the PGPD has recovered three skimming devices at convenience stores in the county. Skimming devices can be placed at point of sale terminals inside of retail stores, grocery stores, convenience stores or any location where credit card transactions are conducted.

The devices allow criminals to steal cardholder information. Skimming devices are also having an increasing impact on those who receive funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). So far this year, approximately $700,000 in SNAP funding has been stolen from recipients in the county. The PGPD has multiple, active investigations on those committing this type of fraud. 

Before using a SNAP card or any type of credit or debit card, please review these safety tips:

*Inspect ATMs or card readers – look for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched. Don’t use any card reader if you notice anything unusual.

*Pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN. Then, cover the keypad when you enter your PIN to prevent cameras from recording your entry.

*Use ATMs in a well-lit, indoor location, which are less vulnerable targets.

*Use debit and credit cards with chip technology. In the U.S., there are fewer devices that steal chip data versus magnetic strip data.

*Avoid using your debit card when you have linked accounts. When possible, use a credit card instead.

*Contact your financial institution if the ATM doesn’t return your card after you end or cancel a transaction.

*If you are concerned that your card may have been skimmed, change your PIN to prevent financial loss.

In addition to these safety tips, here are several photos of what to look out for:

If you believe there is a skimming device on an ATM or card reader in the county, please call police. Please also notify store personnel, leave the device in place and allow law enforcement to remove it.

PGPD detectives investigating skimming devices can be reached at 301-516-1464. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device.   

For those who would like more information from the Maryland Department of Human Services regarding SNAP fraud, please review this website:

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