PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Police in Prince George’s County are warning residents about skimming devices on card readers found in several stores in the area.

Within the last week, PGPD said they’ve recovered 3 skimming devices at convenience stores.

“I think it’s terrible, people out here scamming and trying to get people money and everything. You know it’s a terrible thing,” said Jason, a resident of the county.

This is something happening across the DMV. The Metropolitan Police Department announced they found a dozen of these devices in just one month.

Police say the devices are placed on top of the original card readers giving criminals access to your card information.

“I’m appalled if that’s what’s going on — this is crazy,” said Prince George’s County resident Angela Hayes.

It’s not only people with credit and debit cards being scammed, but also those within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). According to PGPD so far this year nearly $700,000 has been stolen from those with SNAP benefits because of these skimming devices.

“I know it’s hard times and I know people are desperate but that’s a bit extreme because you’re talking jail time if you’re caught. So that’s a big risk to take,” said Hayes.

“It’s very extreme. I think the scammers nowadays are getting more smarter, and we have to become more smarter and educated so we can counteract their intelligence,” said Jason.

Here are some tips to ensure your information is protected:

Inspect ATMs or card readers, pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN, use ATMs in a well-lit, indoor location, which are less vulnerable targets, use debit and credit cards with chip technology, contact your financial institution if the ATM doesn’t return your card after you end or cancel a transaction.

Several people in the county said they plan on taking extra measures to ensure they’re not being scammed.

“I work too hard for mine, and I don’t want to give it away or for anyone to just take it. I will definitely look out for that,” said Hayes.

If you believe there is a skimming device on an ATM or card reader in the county, you’re encouraged to call police and notify the store personnel.