DENVER (CBS4)– Every day crooks are inventing new ways to steal your identity and credit card information. Detectives across Colorado are learning new ways to stop them.

There are ways to protect yourself from thieves. One of the easiest is to be aware.

“They can come in and hook in on the back side of a gas pump and you wouldn’t even notice it unless you are looking for it. A lot of people don’t know this but look at your gas pump the next time you put your credit card in, they put a little seal in there and you’re supposed to notify them if it’s broken because they open that up with a standard key and they put the device behind,” said Denver Police Major Crimes Unit Cmdr. Ron Saunier.

He said it’s not just at gas pumps. Police say thieves like ATMs at gas stations and convenience stores because there aren’t many people around to see them attaching a skimmer to the machine. Once the skimmer is on, it is just a matter of minutes until they have everything they need to go on a shopping spree with somebody else’s credit card.

“It’s a big thing because they come in and they skim the information off the card, they get thousands of credit cards and then they sell it across the way,” said Saunier.

Police officer this advice to protect yourself from identity thieves:

  • Shred trash, old checks, junk mail, personal documents.
  • Remove mail from your mailbox as often as possible.
  • Do not leave your wallet or purse under the seat.
  • Don’t give out personal information over the phone.

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