BOTKINS — Several customers of the Circle K on East State Street in Botkins have been the victim of credit card fraud.
A credit card skimmer was found on a diesel gas station pump in Botkins recently by Botkins Police.
On Feb. 10, the Botkins Police Department was notified by a local bank that several customers had contacted them in regards to fraudulent activity on their credit cards. The local bank then checked into the matter and found that the customers had purchased fuel at Circle K in Botkins.
“The bank requested that we check into the matter further and see if there was an issue at that station. Upon speaking to the manager at Circle K an inspection was performed in which a skimmer device was located inside one of the pumps,” Botkins Police Chief Tom Glass said in a press release Friday.
The skimmer was taken into evidence and is currently being forensically checked for any information that may be on the device. The other two local gas stations were contacted and advised of the incident and asked to check their pumps for any devices.
As to date no other devices have been found in Botkins. The police department is currently working closely with Circle K, three banking facilities, Secret Service, Sidney Police and the Vandalia Police.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is not aware of any other establishment that has reported having a skimmer in Shelby County.
“In the last few days we have taken six reports that the victims may have had their credit card information stolen through the use of a skimmer,” Chief Deputy Jim Frye said in an email Friday. “I was advised that the weights and measures department checked the pumps at Wal-Mart and they all checked out fine with no skimmers found.”
The Sidney Police Department has taken some complaints regarding credit card information being stolen.
“We have actually opened up the pumps where these might have taken place, but haven’t found anything yet,” said Captain Jerry Tangeman.
He said if you have any doubt about paying at a gas pump, go inside and pay with cash. “Pay attention to your surroundings and if the pump you’re about to use looks different than the one’s next to it, please notify the gas station employees and law enforcement,” Tangeman said.
In addition, it is suggested that you regularly monitor credit/debit card activity to detect any unauthorized use of your account. If your account has been used without your permission, contact your card company/bank immediately and file a police report.
A press release from the Shelby County Auditors Office in December warned customers that when they swipe a debit or credit card, the device stores the information contained on the magnetic strip as well as the PIN that the customer types in. The thief who installed it can then retrieve the data via blue tooth without ever returning to the pump itself. The data is used to make duplicate cards which are sold to others who then make fraudulent charges until that card number is disabled.
“It only takes less than a minute for a thief to install a skimmer” said Shelby County Auditor, Amy Berning, in December. “We are not authorized to monitor anything related to the processing of credit cards, but we are keeping an eye out for potential skimmers as part of the pump inspections.”
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