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App can detect credit card skimmers at the pumps

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jan 25, 2018

WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- After credit card skimmers were discovered at the gas station at the corner of Tylersville and Cincinnati Dayton roads, the owner changed the locks and began checking the pumps twice a day.

It wasn't an isolated incident. About 20 credit card skimmers have been found on Butler County gas pumps in the past two years. Statewide, consumers have lost millions of dollars because of skimmers.

Now, Butler County officials are suggesting drivers download an app that can detect the Bluetooth signal coming from skimmers. It's called Skim Plus, and it can alert users to skimmers within 100 feet.

"You can actually pull up to a gas station, pull out your phone and look at Bluetooth signals. You’re going to pick up various Bluetooth signals. You wouldn’t know if it’s emanating from the gas pump or if it’s from the car next to you," Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds said. "So, what this particular app is doing is singling out a skimmer signal that is using Bluetooth."

The app shows green if everything is OK, and shows red to indicate there's a skimmer nearby. 

If it shows red, officials said to report it to the station manager, local police or the Butler County Auditor's Office. 

Skim Plus is currently available for Android phones. There's a free version and a $0.99 version that includes a mapping tool. An iPhone version is in development.