(WTXL) - Authorities in several Big Bend counties are investigating after multiple credit card skimmers have been discovered at local gas stations.
Three credit card skimmers have been found in the local area within the course of a week, according to deputies.
The first was found on Feb. 14 at an undisclosed gas station in Perry, Florida .
That day, officers with the Perry Police Department, along with deputies from the Taylor County Sheriff's Office, arrested two people that were in possession of many credit card skimmers and other items used to steal money.
Deputies have not released the identities of the two people arrested.
The next day, another credit card skimmer was found at the Mobile gas station in the 6300 block of South State Road 53 in Madison. Deputies say the skimmer found at that gas station was similar to the one found in Perry.
Madison County investigators are working with the Perry PD to determine if the same suspects are responsible for the skimmer at the Mobile station.
Another skimmer was discovered at Jimmie’s Auto Port in Madison back in September, though the case remains under investigation.
On Feb. 16, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office alerted residents that a credit card skimmer was found at an undisclosed gas station in Jefferson County . Deputies have not said whether they believe that skimmer is connected to the two arrests in Perry.
Credit card skimmers are small, illegal devices that are installed on top of real card readers at self-service terminals like those at gas stations and ATM machines.
As you slide your credit or debit card into a compromised machine, the card skimmer stores the card number and your PIN can even be captured, if a fake keypad was placed over the real one.
That info is then used to conduct fraudulent transactions or is sold to other criminals.
To avoid being a victim, deputies recommend taking the following steps:
- Pay inside whenever possible. If you fail to notice that the device you're using is compromised, your card and identity could be stolen.
- Inspect the card reader. Look for any damage, obscured words, or mismatched graphics. Make sure the red security seal on the pump has not been altered or missing and give the card reader a shake before swiping your card to make sure it is the original equipment. If the seal has been altered, alert the cashier and call your local law enforcement.
- Use a credit card over a debit card. If you do have to used a debit card, do the transaction as credit to protect personalized PIN numbers.
- Regularly monitor your financial accounts and credit report for fraudulent or suspicious activity.
MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - Authorities are investigating after another credit card skimmer was found at a gas station in Madison.
The Madison County Sheriff's office reports that on Thursday morning deputies were dispatched to the Mobile gas station in the 6300 block of South State Road 53 in Madison.
The concerned customer who called told investigators he believed a skimming device was installed on a pump and feared his debit card may have been compromised.
Deputies, assisted by an employee of the gas station, were able to successfully remove an illegal card skimming device that was installed on the fuel pump. They don't know how long the skimmer had been there.
MCSO says they were later made aware that two people in possession of several similar looking credit card skimmers were arrested in Perry.
Now, Madison County investigators are working with the Perry Police Department to determine if the same suspects are responsible for the skimmer at the Mobile station.
Deputies say this is the second reported card skimmer found in Madison County in recent months.
On Sept. 19, another credit card skimmer was found on a gas pump at Jimmie’s Auto Port on South S.R. 53 in Madison. This case remains under investigation.
"The Madison County Sheriff’s Office continues to warn consumers to always be aware of their surroundings and closely inspect fuel pumps prior to inserting any credit or debit cards into the fuel pump," deputies wrote in a Facebook post . "It is also advisable to utilize debit cards as credit to protect personalized pin numbers. As a matter of good habit, routinely review your financial accounts and credit report for fraudulent or suspicious activity."
Credit card skimmer found at local gas station, two people arrested
PERRY, Fla. (WTXL) - Law enforcement arrested two people after a credit card skimmer was found at a local gas station.
Officers with the Perry Police Department were helped by the Taylor County Sheriff's Office in arresting two people that were in possession of many credit card skimmers and other items used to steal money.
Perry PD said skimmers are installed in fuel pumps and when you pay at the pump, it "skims" your credit card info.
That info is then used to conduct fraudulent transactions or is sold on the Dark Web.
The investigation is still continuing and more information will be released as it becomes available.
Perry PD said to be safe, pay for your purchases inside the store, paying at the pump can result in your card and identity being stolen.