Credit card skimmer found at Tam Valley 7-Eleven


Tam Valley 7/11 by Zach Breindel

By Zachary Breindel

A credit card skimmer device was found attached to a payment terminal in the Tamalpais Valley 7-Eleven in August, shown in a viral video posted to the popular social media site TikTok on Aug. 25. The incident occured after numerous reports of credit card skimmers found throughout the Bay Area over the summer.

In the video, user @willhunter908 shows a skimming device being removed from the store while speaking to a clerk, who does not speak during the video. In a follow-up video, the user revealed that unusual buttons and a large faceplate were the giveaways for the device. 

Credit card skimmers are illegal devices, often attached to point-of-sale (POS) terminals in stores and ATMs, that record all incoming transactional data, including credit card numbers, CVV codes and PIN numbers, normally for malicious use. In the weeks since the video was posted, the Tamalpais Valley location added a sticker near the checkout area to reassure customers that all transactional devices are authorized by 7-Eleven.

“I’ve used my credit card there a lot,” senior Charlie Horowitz said, a former Tam News reporter. “I’m definitely going to start paying with cash.” 

However, cash is not the only option for those seeking to protect themselves from potential skimming devices; mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay disguise your card information when processing transactions, according to Forbes Advisor. 


“I pretty much only use Apple Pay at gas stations and the like,” 30-year Tamalpais Valley resident Jonathan Martin said.

According to ABC7 News, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it took a report on the incident in the Tamalpais Valley store.

Neither 7-Eleven nor the employees of the Tamalpais Valley branch responded for comment. It is currently unknown who planted the device in the store, or if the owners knew about the device prior to its removal. 

“I think it’s still at the fault of 7-Eleven for not regulating [their payment terminals] even if [the skimmer] wasn’t planted by them. So, like, no matter what, it’s 7-Eleven’s fault,” Horowitz said.

The incident is just the latest in an uptick of credit card skimmers being found throughout the Bay Area. A similar device was found in an Oakland 7-Eleven location on July 17. Additionally, Petaluma Police issued a warning over skimming devices found in 7-Eleven locations and a Bank of America ATM on July 18. No suspects were found in either case.

If you think you may have used a compromised payment terminal, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises to monitor your bank accounts for fraudulent charges. Should you see an unknown transaction, it is vital that you immediately report it to your bank or card issuer.

Federal law limits your liability if your credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, but your liability may depend on how quickly you report the loss or theft,” the FTC website states.