Police warn customers at the gas pump about skimmers hidden inside

Police warn customers at the gas pump about skimmers hidden inside
Bobby Williams (Source: WALB)
Bobby Williams (Source: WALB)
CITGO on Newton Road (Source: WALB)
CITGO on Newton Road (Source: WALB)
Lt. Steve Mitchum (Source: WALB)
Lt. Steve Mitchum (Source: WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - A frightening alert for everyone who pays for their gas at the pump.

Card skimmers are being found inside multiple pumps around south Georgia..

And the scariest part about it?

You can't even see it.

WALB News 10's Catherine Patterson spoke with police who said thousands of people's financial information could be at risk.

Police said investigators found internal skimmers in gas pumps here in Dougherty County, in Cuthbert, and in Adel.

When the skimmers are inside the pump, there's no way you can tell if you're a victim until after it happens.

"This is new to us," said Lt. Steve Mitchum with the Dougherty County Police Department.

Police said they've never seen anything like it.

An illegal device, hidden inside a gas pump, capable of stealing your financial information.

"This is the actual card reader that was installed," he said.

Police said a state inspector discovered the skimmer inside a gas pump at the Citgo on Newton Road in Albany.

"From what I understand," said Lt. Mitchum, "when you put your card in it, it goes through this device right here, which is extracting the data from your card."

The tiny device can do some major damage.

"I know we have a lot of great technology, but I had no idea you could do anything like that.  Just by sticking the card in and taking it back out," said customer Bobby Williams.

Williams said it's scary to think that the only way to tell if this internal skimmer has been installed is to physically open the pump station.

Some skimmers, on the other hand, are a little bit easier to spot.

Before you pay at the pump, make sure that the card reader doesn't wiggle, or even fall off, because then you know it's a skimmer.

"I think that's a heck of a device!" said Williams.

Police suggest doing what Bobby does.

Pay in cash.

That way, you avoid becoming a victim.

"You would never know it's there," said Williams. "So I think cash would be the best way, especially with fuel if you could."

Police said they have no reason to believe the owner of that Citgo was aware the illegal device had been installed.

If you used your card at that gas station, or at any station, police urge you to check your accounts to look for any suspicious activity.

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