Sheriff warns of new 'deep dive' skimming device

Photo: Patrick County Sheriff's Office
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PATRICK Co., Va. (WDBJ7) — The Patrick County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a new, less visible debit and credit card skimmer.

It's called the "deep dive skimmer."

The sheriff's office says it's a relatively new fraud threat, and it has made its way to southwest Virginia.

Fraudsters are using the device to steal card number at ATMs and gas pumps.

"Unlike previous skimmers, the deep dive skimmer is installed in a way that it is not visible to the card user," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post.

Most skimmers are devices that are installed on top of the normal card slot and can be detected by simply wiggling it.

The sheriff's office also warns that thieves are using very small cameras to capture PINs when they are punched in following insertion of a card.

The cameras are so small that they can be hidden beneath the shrouds which are installed on some card readers to prevent an onlooker from seeing your PIN, the sheriff's office said.

"We recommend that you shield the keypad with your hand as you enter the PIN to block detection of any camera which may have been hidden."

"We also recommend that you keep regular checks on your card activity and notify your bank if you detect any suspicious activity. In addition, please report any incidents of card fraud to the Sheriff's Office," the post read.

If you suspect your card may have been compromised by one of these devices, you can contact the sheriff's office at (276) 694-3161.

You can also always go inside the gas station to carry out a transaction instead of using the outside credit card slot if you have suspicions about the pump.