VANDALIA — Weights and measures officials from Montgomery County have been inspecting area gas stations and alerting consumers after a credit card scamming device, known as a skimmer, was discovered at a gas station in Vandalia on Nov. 5.
Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith reported a small electronic device believed to be a credit card skimmer was found at the BP station located at 129 East National Road in Vandalia. Keith indicated that the device was illegally installed inside one of the station’s pumps attached to the credit card reader and keypad.
“Our weights and measures inspectors began checking area gas stations after skimmers were reported to be found recently in both Fayette and Washington Counties,” Keith said. “This discovery in Vandalia is the second illegal skimming device to be found in Ohio in the last week.”
The Vandalia Police Department was notified by the county inspectors who discovered the skimmer and the device was turned over to the police. No additional skimming devices have been discovered at any of the other locations checked by county officials.
According to Keith, this is the second instance of skimmers to be discovered in Montgomery County. In August 2013, a total of four skimmers were found at two separate stations located in Englewood and Moraine, according to Keith.
“Given our past experience, we are taking this discovery very seriously,” Keith said. “Our inspectors will be intensifying their efforts and will be specifically checking stations to search for these devices.”
Keith said that consumers need to be careful when filling up their tanks and that anything that seems out of place or indicates that a pump has been tampered with should be reported. Keith siad that in order for customers to protect their PIN numbers from being stolen, customers should never use their debit cards at the pump. He indicated that monthly bank and credit card statements should be reviewed for any fraudulent charges.
According to Keith, credit card scamming devices can be used to steal credit card and debit card numbers as well as personal pin codes for the purpose of identity theft. Additionally, these devices often have Bluetooth technology, which Keith said allow identity thieves to access private information from a distance up to 100 yards.