Ohio authorities warn of gas pump credit card skimmers

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities in southwest Ohio are warning motorists about gas pump credit card skimmers expected to be in expanded use this summer.

A skimmer is a device placed inside the credit card reader that captures credit and debit card information as the card is being swiped for payment.

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith tells the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News (http://bit.ly/20c8uRK ) that stations along the Interstate 75 corridor have been hit hard. Two more cases were reported in the last few days in Butler County.

An experienced thief can install a skimmer in 30 seconds, then using the data collected to create fake cards with the customer’s bank account, according to Ohio state trooper Fred Applegate.

It’s been estimated that as many as 70 percent of consumers use a credit card at the pump, with 50 percent of those using a debit card.

Applegate said to avoid using a debit card, so thieves won’t get the PIN information. He also suggested inspecting the credit card reader panel for anything that looks suspicious.

Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds said using cash is the safest way to pay. He’s increasing inspections of fuel pumps in the area.

Officials said skimming technology has become more sophisticated. The electronic devices can be as small as a thumb drive and are difficult to detect.

Fueling stations have until October 2017 to update pumps with EMV technology, which accommodates cards with electronic chips.


Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, http://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront

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