JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are investigating after a skimming device was found attached to an ATM inside a Johnston gas station Tuesday.

The skimmer was found on the ATM inside the Cumberland Farms on Killingly Street, according to police.

Skimmers are illegal devices designed to fit on top of and blend in with ATMs and point-of-sale terminals. The devices keep record of cardholders’ PINs so scammers can illegally access their accounts.

Police in North Providence also found a skimming device on an ATM inside the Cumberland Farms on Mineral Spring Avenue.

“This is a well organized scam,” the department wrote in a social media post. “Please be vigilant when using ATM … If a card skimmer is located, please contact the police department.”

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Since skimmers are tough to spot, police suggest cardholders use the “SCAN” checklist:

  • S: Scan the area for hidden cameras that may record you typing your PIN. These may be mounted near the keypad, so always cover your hand while you type in a PIN.
  • C: Compare the card reader and keypad to the rest of the machine. The colors and styles should all match, and graphics should be aligned and un-obscured.
  • A: Assess for obvious signs of tampering. Broken or dented panels may be visible or security seals may be broken.
  • N: Nudge the card reader and keypad. Card skimmers and fake keypads are meant to be removed, so if they feel loose, you may have spotted a skimmer.

Anyone who recently used the affected ATM should contact their bank to ensure no unauthorized transactions or withdrawals have been made using their accounts. Cardholders should also monitor their accounts for any fraudulent activity and consider changing their PIN.

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