Consumers warned of 'snarfing' ID theft

Beware of snarfing. It is the latest way crooks are trying to steal your identity.

We're often told that if we're looking for skimmers, we should try to jiggle the card input area on a gas pump or see if the seal is broken but with blue skimming or blue snarfing, the skimmer is inside and you're not going to find anything outside that will let you know there’s a skimmer.

If you’re paying at the pump, you’re the perfect prey for credit card skimmers. But now skimmer don’t even need to make contact with your credit card to steal your data. 

“Being secure isn't easy,” said independent security researcher Jake Burgett.

Jake Burgett is an independent security researcher who says Bluetooth is the new way crooks are trying to steal your money.

“It’s literally a device that's hooked into a gas pump, and it transmits credit card data over Bluetooth,” said Burgett.

That skimmer is hidden inside the pump, and it can steal data from any Bluetooth with 100 feet. Burgett says crooks somehow manage to break into the pump with a master key.

But you can protect yourself. If you have an Android phone, download the Skimmer Scanner app. The app detects Bluetooths in the area and notifies you if a skimmer is nearby.

“It'll be like hey this is a suspected skimmer. You should let your local authorities know.”

Beyond that, Burgett also recommends turning off your Bluetooth if you’re not using it.

At the end of the day, the safest ways for you to pay are still to do it by phone or by cash.