Cautious consumers have long been aware of “skimming” or “shimming”: Thieves install innocuous-looking plastic or metal “overlay skimmers” that fit over card reader slots at ATMs (or similar types of readers, such as self-serve gas pumps and video rentals), and when someone inserts their debit or credit card into the reader, the magnetic strip details and subsequent PIN code are recorded, allowing a crook to later retrieve the info. As always, the best strategy is to steer clear of any device that looks like it’s been tampered with, and avoid standalone ATMs. The gas station strategy, however, is increasingly becoming the go-to skim scam, with more sophisticated methods being used to avoid detection. Thieves are now figuring out how to unlock gas pumps and insert Bluetooth-equipped devices inside, thereby transmitting the swiped card info wirelessly to someone within range—say, across the parking lot, or in the restaurant next door. In early June, Essex police were called to investigate after a local Mobil Mart employee, assigned to repair a keypad on one of the pumps, discovered one such skimmer when he opened the ump up. In 2017 there have been numerous similar reports from all around the country, including North Carolina.