By Anna DeWine
FAIRBORN — The illegal credit card skimming device found in the county last Friday morning during a statewide skimmer sweep was at the Marathon Gas Station, 3887 Col. Glenn Highway.
The skimmer was the only device found in the county, and one of four found in the state during the two-day statewide sweep. The incident could have occurred at any station, Greene County Auditor David Graham said, as the specific crime is a relatively new phenomena and station owners across the state are adjusting.
“The station owner seemed very receptive to our suggestions for improvements to security,” Graham said.
Graham advises citizens to review their credit card statement frequently, whether they believe their card may have been compromised or not. Consumers can also contact their credit card company directly. If fraudulent activity is detected on their credit card, citizens should contact their local police department.
Only one skimming device was found on one pump at the station, so customers who visited that station would have had to use the specific pump for their credit card to be compromised, Graham said.
Consumers can reduce the risk of their credit card information being stolen by not only reviewing their credit card frequently to ensure that there aren’t any unauthorized charges on it, but also by always using cash and never using a debit card.
As explained by Graham, it is impossible for individuals to tell if a station is high-risk based on inspecting the pumps. One station might use security tape over the credit card reader door. This is an effective security measure, and also might be visible to an individual pumping gas, Graham said.
Another gas station might not use tape but instead will have pumps that shutdown automatically when opened and can only be reactivated by a manager or service provider, he said. This security measure is effective, but isn’t visible to the eye, according to Graham.
Consumers should also keep in mind that gas stations are not the only targeted locations as skimmers can exist on any device.
“They make covers that fit over the credit card readers used in stores,” Graham said. “There have even been cases where in handing your credit card to someone at a restaurant, the individual is wearing a skimmer and slides it through their skimmer to record your credit card information.” Chip readers, he said, will at least help deter the problem.
The owner of the gas station could not be reached as of press time.
Anna DeWine is a reporter for Greene County Newspapers.