Gas Pumps are Popular Targets for ID Thieves - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Gas Pumps are Popular Targets for ID Thieves


Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Between eight- and 12 million people could be victims in a single year.

Some of these thieves are using extraordinary measures to steal your money as you fill up at the gas station.

Postal inspectors uncovered one scam after they got a tip to search a hotel room when a suspect was arrested with several stolen credit cards.

"We opened the door there was a spotting scope with a video camera pointed out the window," said Dan Taylor, U.S. Postal Inspector.

The camera was pointing at a gas station where the suspect in custody had placed a skimming device on a pump.

"He recorded 40 hours' worth of transactions and he was also logging PIN Numbers as he was watching his victims."

The suspect had all the magnetic strip information on each credit card along with the numbers. It was the perfect storm for ID theft.

"Many times what these ID thieves are after is quick cash," said Taylor. "With counterfeit credit cards, we see a lot of cash advances basically bleed the card for every bit it is worth."

Here are some tips to protect yourself next time you fill up:

  • If you see something at the pump that doesn't look right, don't use it.
  • Report anything out of the ordinary. Many times the scammers are keeping close surveillance on their skimming device. If law enforcement can be notified, they may be able to catch them in the act.
  • Take steps to protect your credit and banking information.

In this case, the suspect was convicted on ID theft charges and is serving prison time.

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