WARNING: Beware of skimmers across the Chicago area

In tonight's FOX 32 special report - skim scams.

Thieves can steal thousands of your dollars after you make one simple swipe. Now, the scheme is more high-tech than ever before, putting you at even more risk.

Gail Delegge says she was just filling up at a Lake Zurich gas station. She used her credit card for the purchase. But days later, Gail and her husband Larry noticed charges on their statement for things they didn't buy.

Charge after charge - for different amounts - at nearby stores like Jewel, Office Depot and Game Stop. 

In all, they say thieves used their card 19 times for a grand total close to $7k.

Larry then gathered surveillance footage from each of the stores and turned it in to police

The Delegges believe it all started at the gas station where thieves hid a skimming device in the credit card reader, and that skimmer stole their credit card information in one quick swipe.

They're not alone. The secret service says credit card skimming is widespread and continues to grow. 

Scott Turk is an assistant state's attorney in Lake County where he works with local police to prosecute cybercrimes like skimming. Turk says evolving technology is arming thieves with new ways to steal your money. 

“It used to be, when these devices were put on, the problem for the criminal was that they would have to go back and retrieve the device later,” Turk said.

Now, Turk says some devices are using Bluetooth, meaning they can get all the information they want wirelessly. But there's also a new way to protect yourself -- use your phone to scout Bluetooth devices.

“If you see a Bluetooth connection that looks like it's just a whole bunch of random characters, chances are, it's a Bluetooth signal being sent out by that skimmer device,” Turk said.

And check your statements for anything suspicious. If you see something, report it right away. Be vigilant - like the Delegges - who want to warn others and want the folks who stole from them behind bars. 

“They are still out there. To my knowledge, they have not been caught yet,” Larry said.

FOX 32 reached out to the gas station in Lake Zurich, and we've yet to receive an official comment back.

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