Skimmer found in Phillipsburg


PHILLIPSBURG — Montgomery County weights and measures inspectors found a skimming device on September 5 inside a pump at Phillipsburg Fuel at 15 S. State Street.

Upon finding the device, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was called to confiscate it. This finding comes after Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith led a countywide sweep for illegal credit card skimming devices at gas pumps last week.

Keith and his weights and measures inspectors visited more than 70 gas stations, inspecting more than 600 throughout Montgomery County. With ten skimmers being found in Ohio in the past three weeks, Keith initiated the sweep to protect travelers during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

This is the third skimmer to be found in a Montgomery County gas pump this summer, the eighth since 2013. A skimmer was found at a Sunoco in Englewood in August and one was found at a Marathon in Riverside in June. The Phillipsburg skimmer is the sixty-second device to be found in an Ohio gas pump, more than half of which have been found in southwest Ohio.

“Four skimmers have been found in gas pumps in the area this summer, in Riverside, Englewood, Springfield and now Phillipsburg,” Keith said. “The threat of this crime will continue.”

The manager of Phillipsburg Fuel spoke to a locksmith and will be installing more secure locks on the pumps soon. Consumers who recently visited the affected station should contact their financial institutions and take precautionary measures. Monitoring bank and credit card statements frequently for fraudulent charges is always a good idea, according to Keith.

“Consumers should not be worried, but they should be cautious and vigilant while filling up at the pump”, Keith said. “If you witness suspicious activity, do not hesitate to contact the authorities.”

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.

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.

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