Thieves are using skimmers or card readers at gas stations, credit card terminals, and ATM machines to steal from customers. Card readers will record your credit card numbers when swiped in payment for purchases. Skimmers will also record pin numbers if you use debit cards. These skimmer devices are placed inside gas pumps and some ATM machines. These card readers can be put inside the gas pumps in a matter of seconds. Skimmers cannot be seen unless the door to the pump is opened, and you won't notice them unless you know how they look.
Skimmers were found earlier this week in Twinsburg and Miamitown and have also been recently found in Franklin, Dayton, Mason, and several counties including Butler, Fayette, Hamilton, Montgomery, Union, Warren, Washington, along with various places in Michigan. Thieves will usually target stations along busy freeways, or stations that are closed or unattended at night. Skimmers are often placed in the pumps that an attendant is unable to watch or the further distance from the station. At times a truck or van is parked so that the attendant cannot see what is being tampered, or another partner will distract the cashier inside the station. Most gas stations have some sort of security. The most visual is a paper seal on the door of pumps or where the cards readers would be installed. Some stations have automatic shutdowns on the pumps if the doors are tampered. Others have a special pump key for use only at their gas station. Approximately 85% of the Marion County stations have some type of security. Most important is to be aware. Look to see if the security tape is cut or has been altered. Ask station managers what kind of security they use. If you observe a person inside of a pump, check to see if the attendant is aware of a person working on it. The safest way to pay is with cash. Next, use a credit card inside of the gas station. It is easier to remove fraudulent charges off credit cards than debit cards. If possible, do not use a debit card where a pin number must be entered. Pin numbers are a favorite of thieves because they provide access to bank accounts. If the front of a credit card terminal or ATM seems loose, do not use the machine. Notify law enforcement if you have a fraudulent charge on your card or if you suspect tampering at an ATM or credit card terminal.