Paying with plastic can expose people to fraud, as there has been an uptick in the use of credit card skimming devices in gas pumps in Shasta County. The card skimmers are illegally installed inside pumps without the knowledge of station management. The devices gather information from every credit card that’s inserted and the information is then used to defraud the cardholders. The thieves don’t even have to retrieve the devices because they can be equipped with tiny transmitters to send the data elsewhere. When the devices are installed inside pumps they’re difficult for customers to detect, and they can be installed in a matter of seconds. There’s little that customers can do to avoid the rip-off, other than bypassing the convenience of paying at the pump. The Shasta County Department of Weights and Measures suggests going inside to pay and using the card as credit rather than debit because there are more consumer protections that way and the pin number isn’t compromised. Also, it’s a good idea to monitor account charges regularly.