Kennewick Police and other Tri-City law enforcement agencies caution people to continue to be careful when using debit or credit cards at ATMs and gas pumps.

According to police, a group of thieves made a sweep through Western WA over the weekend, scamming thousands from dozens (if not hundreds) of victims. The crooks are able to place card skimmer devices even inside self-serve gas pumps, obtaining account and PIN numbers. They then use them to stamp fake cards and steal money.

This picture shows the security tape now being used on most pumps all over the area. When you get gas, cover the PIN pad with your hand in case they tried to install an overhead camera, and look close to make sure the red tape has not been cut or tampered with.  It's the kind that once it's removed, it cannot be reapplied.

Also closely monitor your online banking, and when in doubt, don't use the pump. Just because the skimmer activity here has died down does NOT mean it is over. It will likely return soon, and will be an ongoing issue as digital continues to expand in our financial transactions.