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PHOENIX -- Although the fight against debit and credit card skimming may never end, the state of Arizona has made great progress locating secret skimmers hidden in pumps at gas stations.
According to The Arizona Republic, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer helped launched a widespread training and inspection effort in 2010 to reduce skimming attacks. These efforts have worked as only two skimmers showed up among 1,349 gas pump inspections. This number is down from 13 found in 2012 and a record 30 that were discovered in 2010.
In addition, 426 inspections have been performed thus far in 2014 in Arizona and no skimmers were found, the news source reported.
"Any time we're at a gas station, we're checking to make sure there isn't a skimming device," Shawn Marquez, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Weights & Measures told the news outlet.
Skimming devices are virtually non-detectable to consumers. Criminals often get inside a gas pump and attach palm-sized electronic data recorders to steal customer information. These devices have become more sophisticated in recent years as criminals have begun using Bluetooth technology that transmit stolen data from gas pumps to a remote site.
Skimming has been reduced via several steps, including repositioning security cameras and placing tamper-proof, invisible tape over gas pump compartments so that employees know when their point-of -sale terminals have been opened, noted The Republic.
"That's what it's about -- protecting consumers," Amanda Gray, executive director of the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association, told the news source. "It's a problem for everybody once skimmers get installed."