A task force investigating credit card skimmers have located devices in Lafayette, Iberia, East Baton Rouge and numerous other parishes throughout Louisiana.

According to WBRZ, the State Department of Agriculture, U.S. Secret Service and local sheriff's offices have worked together to locate and disable 23 credit card skimmers at gas pumps across the state since June 2015.

In total, the skimmers had stored over 800 stolen credit and debit card numbers.

Authorities say they are not alone when it comes to pinpointing these devices.

As we hear more and more about this type of crime, our inspectors are removing anything suspect from the gasoline pumps. Convenience stores are also aware we are out there looking and are alerting the LDAF and their local authorities when they believe something is wrong

Traditional skimmers are fairly easy to spot because they involve a noticeable attachment to the standard card readers found on most gas pumps, but new technology is making it harder to locate these devices.

We’re now seeing skimming devices that have Bluetooth capability. This tells us these crooks are getting more and more tech savvy making it easier to access the consumer’s personal information

The task force says this is what you can do to help protect your personal information:

- Whenever possible, do not use your debit card function at the gas pump. Use it as a credit card.
- Monitor your debit/credit card activity online and contact your bank to report unrecognized charges.
- Whenever using a credit card, try to use a pump that is easily seen by gas station employees. Pumps that are less visible are commonly targeted because crooks can easily install a skimmer which normally takes very little time.

Parishes where devices have been located thus far: Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa and Vermilion.

Upon detection of skimming devices WBRZ says that the Secret Service contacts all financial institutions affected "to ensure data security."

Have you had your information stolen by one of these devices? Comment below!

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