Auditor Keith & Staff Conduct Countywide Skimmer Sweep
Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith and Weights and Measures Inspector Charlie Richmond inspect a pump at the Sunoco station at 1070 S. Main Street, where a skimmer was discovered three weeks prior.
Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith directed a countywide sweep for illegal credit card skimming devices at gas pumps in an effort to protect consumers traveling during the Labor Day weekend. Fortunately, no skimmer devices were discovered.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 31, 2017
Contact: Kyle Tromley
Keith and the weights and measures inspectors examined gas pumps in Englewood, Vandalia, Huber Heights, and Germantown. Three teams of weights and measures inspectors visited a total of 50 gas stations around the county on Thursday and Friday.
Keith coordinated the sweep before Labor Day to both protect holiday travelers and to further educate the public of the crime. “Ultimately, that’s how we defeat the crime, by educating the public on how they can protect themselves,” said Keith. Additionally, the county sweep is the result of a recently discovered skimmer device at the Sunoco gas station at 1070 S. Main Street in Englewood during a routine inspection, which was the seventh skimmer to be found in a Montgomery County gas pump.
Keith and his team targeted gas stations near highways and busy roads to check for the devices. “With recent reports of skimmers being found near the interstate in our state, we hosted the sweep to protect unsuspecting customers from identity theft,” said Keith. “I’ve instructed my inspectors to check at-risk pumps for skimmers to ensure other stations have not been impacted. However, once my inspectors leave, the pumps become vulnerable again. Consumers should always take the proper measures to protect themselves.”
Although no skimmers were found, consumers should still be careful when filling up their tanks. According to Keith, the frequent discovery of these devices indicates that the threat of this crime will continue. “Criminals should know that this illegal activity will not be tolerated in our communities, and our weights and measures team will continue to be proactive in addressing the skimming crime in our county,” said Keith.
Consumers should know that paying for gas with cash is always the safest option at the pump. Using a credit card is safer than using a debit card because customers who use their debit card risk their PIN numbers being stolen. Monthly bank and credit card statements should always be reviewed for any fraudulent charges.
Credit card scamming devices can be used to steal credit and debit card numbers as well as PIN numbers for the purpose of identity theft. These devices often have Bluetooth technology, which allow identity thieves to access private information from a distance up to 100 yards.
Keith has been a statewide leader in the effort to address the skimming crime, collaborating with his fellow county auditors to address this illegal activity in Ohio. Sixty-five county auditors hosted a statewide skimmer sweep last year, inspecting more than 12,000 gas pumps. Additionally, Keith has hosted nine “Skimmer Summits” across the state to raise awareness about the dangers of gas pump skimmers and teach prevention measures to gas station owners and interested individuals.