Last week, the Duncan Police Department noticed some unusual charges on the statement from the gas cards they use. Card skimmers had been installed at a Duncan gas station.
Even though the skimmers have been removed people are still calling in Thursday to report fraudulent charges on their cards.
After seeing the charge for $400 on the bill for the department’s gas cards, they went to the last place the card was used. With the help of maintenance employees, it didn’t take long to find out what had happened.
“Noticed there was some kind of microchip in it, but it wasn’t anything that should have been applied to that machine on the inside,” Lt. John Byers said. “After a little bit of research, looking up images of gas pump skimmers, I noticed one identical to it online. Then we went to the other pumps and six of the eight pumps had skimmers on them.”
Installing a card skimmer into a gas pump does not take long at all if the person knows what they are doing, especially on older model pumps
“The gentleman who was unplugging and taking these skimmers off he knew what he was doing,” Byers said. “He knew the workings of the machine. It took him three to five minutes to get one out , plug everything back in and for the machine to come back up.”
Byers said these crimes are on the rise and unfortunately there is no way to tell if there is a card skimmer at a pump you are using.
“These are completely hidden inside. You aren’t going to notice it from the outside. It’s all contained within the internal mechanism of the actual gas pump,” Byers said. “These you wouldn’t know. You pull up there run your card, it’s going to act the same.”
With the skimmers being hidden the only way to know if one is on a pump you used is by checking your bank account for suspicious charges.
Byers said at least $10,000 has been stolen by these skimmers alone. They do have some leads and have sent the skimmers to other agencies to try to get more information about where the people using the skimmers are.