Another scam has surfaced that requires you to stay alert while you’re pumping gas at your local gas station. The last one I had heard of was the infamous “card skimmer.” This was the scam where criminals would install a fake casing over credit card readers at gas stations. When you went in to make a cash withdrawal or any other transaction, your financial information would be stolen by them and your card would be cloned.
This next one is new, and it even has its own name, the “slider scam.” Police officers are warning the public about this on their pages and social media. This scam consists of thieves “sliding” into your car when you’re not paying attention and pumping your gas. According to WKYT, one thief sneaks up on an unsuspecting customer and open his door while the customer is not looking. Then, the thief will grab whatever valuables they can before sneaking away unnoticed.
The next minute you check, your purse, wallet, or cell phone is missing. “People need to realize this is happening,” Major Rob Jones of the Corbin Police Department in Kentucky told WKYT. This scam is not that new, according to Jones’ police department. They started hearing about the “sliding” scam in 2013.
Victims were failing to report it because they would think that they had lost their valuables somewhere in the store. Thinking someone would call them to give them back their items, they would wait at home for a phone call that would never come. Then, they would be too ashamed to report anything to the authorities, so the crime would continue undetected until now.
“It really makes you think,” said Jones. As soon as word started spreading for this crime, surveillance footage has come from gas stations all over the country. It shows these “sliders” in the act and how they operate. It is very easy to pull off this crime. “If the person who is pumping gas is facing away from the car, it’s just a perfect opportunity for them to quietly sneak in and grab what they’re looking for, get back and make a quick getaway in the car,” Sgt. Brian Unmisig of the Pinellas Park Police Department in Florida tells ABC Action News. Mary Cumpston from Kentucky said she heard about the scam on social media. She has been taking precautions ever since.
“I’ve seen it on Facebook where people were getting their purses stolen out of the passenger side,” she told WKYT. “Ever since I saw that, I’ve been carrying my purse with me.” If you watch the videos, sliders literally need only a few seconds to steal your belongings. “They can be in the car, back in their car, and on the interstate from our major gas areas in less than three to five minutes,” he explains. “So, they’re already gone.”
Check out the next video so you can see how they operate and be better protected.