How your cellphone can potentially detect a credit card skimmer

In this Dec. 17, 2015 photo, a New York City Police detective holds a credit card skimmer that was used by a street gang to copy metadata from legitimate credit cards for use in the manufacture of counterfeit cards and possibly identity theft. A new trend is emerging that shows street crews and local gangs giving up more traditional activities like gun point robberies or drug running for more white-collar varieties of crime like identity theft or credit card fraud. (AP Photo/Colleen Long)

AUSTIN, TX (KXAN) — As law enforcement agencies continue to come across credit card skimmers at gas station pumps, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller released a short video with some new tips on how you can avoid becoming an identity theft victim.

One tip requires you to pull out your cellphone. According to the state agency, most of the credit card skimmers have Bluetooth technology. When you’re next to the pump, try connecting to Bluetooth and if you see “a long string of numbers trying to connect… then that’s probably not good,” says Miller.

The other tips include checking the sticker on the pump to see if it has been tampered with and well as jiggling the credit card slot.

“In Texas, we don’t tolerate cattle rustlers, horse thieves or cheats,” Commissioner Miller said in a release. “At the Texas Department of Agriculture, we’re going to do everything we can to protect law-abiding Texans’ personal information at the gas pump.”

If you do suspect a skimmer is installed, you should contact your local police department.

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