To Our Members: Be Aware of “Skimmers” in the Rio Grande Valley - VFCU

To Our Members: Be Aware of “Skimmers” in the Rio Grande Valley

At Valley Federal Credit Union, we take the security of your accounts very seriously, and as such, we’d like to highlight the importance of being mindful of your credit and debit card safety. We’ll be going over an act known as “skimming” below.


Credit/debit card skimming is a form of theft where a small device is used to steal financial information through legitimate card transactions. When one of these cards is swiped through a skimmer, the device collects the information stored in a card’s magnetic stripe.

Some of the information stored in the stripe include the card’s expiration date, PIN number and the card holder’s name. The thieves then use this stolen information to make purchases online or through counterfeit cards. They can also use this information to access ATM accounts.

Skimming in the Valley

There have been reports of skimmers located in several gas pumps in the Rio Grande Valley, particularly in Harlingen. It isn’t known how many skimmers there are or if the devices are being moved from location to location, however, it’s still important to be mindful of this issue.

Some Helpful Tips

In order to avoid skimmers, here are two tips to consider:

  • Avoid paying at the gas pump itself. Pay inside instead.
  • Use cash or gift cards when paying inside if possible.

If you’ve noticed strange activity on your account, please contact us immediately. If you notice that a gas pump card swipe looks suspicious, avoid using it and inform law enforcement.

Keeping Your Security in Mind

Please know that we do all we can to ensure that your accounts are as secure as possible. For more information about what we can do for you, contact our credit union in Harlingen today.

2 Responses to “To Our Members: Be Aware of “Skimmers” in the Rio Grande Valley”

  1. Andrew

    Another piece of advice is always run your debit card as credit. Your account is protected if you run it as credit and the credit card companies will honor a disputed charge and block/restore your account in full. If you run it as debit and they get your PIN number, any thief can simply empty out your whole checking account linked with that PIN, and technically the bank would only have to restore $50 by law. Of course they are resorting all of the accounts that get hacked into now however just a warning for the future if more and more accounts are hacked and they do not have or rather choose not to use their funds to restore accounts. Just a little FYI.

Leave a Reply