WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A county inspector found a credit card skimmer at a West Chester gas station Friday, the second skimmer found in Butler County this week.
This time, the skimmer was at a pump at the Marathon station at 7809 Cincinnati-Dayton Road. Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds said one of his Weights and Measures inspectors found another skimmer Wednesday at a Marathon Station at 6100 Dixie Highway in Fairfield.
With those two cases, Butler County has now found six credit card skimmers since November. Citing a high number of incidents, Reynolds told the Journal-News his office is adding extra inspectors in an effort to spot check more stations and more fuel pumps.
Watch how quickly someone can install a skimmer:
Once a skimmer is installed, the thieves can commit electronic identity theft by getting a hold of their victims' banking and credit card information.
Frank Applegate, an investigator with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, speculated in December that organized crime rings may be behind the recent rash of skimmers.
The investigation seems to have revealed "a pattern with a group of Cubans that have been hitting the Ohio area as well as Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky," Applegate told the Journal-News, a WCPO media partner.
At a summit about credit card skimmers held last week, Applegate suggested that customers and store employees jiggle the slots where credit cards are placed to check if they've been tampered with.
While paying cash is the only sure way to protect from identity fraud, customers can take steps to protect themselves: Use gas pumps easily in view of the attendant and never use a debit card when purchasing gas.
- Report any unusual activity or anything that looks out of place.
- Monitor monthly bank and credit card statements for fraudulent charges.
- Notify local law enforcement and your credit card issuer as soon as you believe you may have been a victim.