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Thieves using Bluetooth to steal your information

Posted at 10:47 PM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 23:47:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Every day it a fight to protect your identity and your money. 

"I basically would like for the bastards to be captured,” said John. 

Identity theft is nothing new. 

While it takes criminals sometimes seconds to steal your information, it takes weeks, even months for a victim to recover. 

"They've tried to get 25 credit cards, a $10,000 bank loan, they forged a $970 check at Sam's Club and we had to prove it wasn't us,” said John. 

“John” knows first hand. We didn't show his face in our report or use his real name because the people who stole his identity are still on the run. 

"The whole thing started by putting outgoing checks in in the mailbox."

At a place we use multiple times a week, criminals have found a new way to steal your information. 

"Bluetooth is so cheap and popular now that they have been added to gas station skimmers,” said Sgt. Logan Bonney with the Olathe Police Department. 

Skimmers may sound old but Bluetooth is a new ball game. 

"Once they install the device, they don't have to remove the skimmer," said Booney. "All they have to do is be in Bluetooth range, they don't have to come back to the pump. Just be in range and download all that information."

Now, criminals can steal your information remotely. 

So here is what you can do. If you go to a gas pump and you are worried about a skimmer, turn your Bluetooth on before you swipe your credit or debit card. 

You may see other vehicles' Bluetooth around you pop up. 

But if you see a long string of numbers and letters appear, police say that could be a skimmer. 

Bonney said if you see that, you should report it to the gas station.

Places like QuickTrip recently took preventative action and put sensors on all their pumps. 

If someone tampers with a pump gas station, employees will know. 

"I have spent days of my time shutting down credit card applications that were fraudulent,” said John. 

It could be at a pump, your mailbox or random phone calls. There are many ways for your identity to be stolen. 

Police say if it seems out of the ordinary or too good to be true — walk away. 

"IRS, police, we are not calling you demanding money. We are not asking for money on an Amazon gift card, or iTunes gift card,” said Sgt. Bonney.