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West Chester Township gas station has had 3 credit card skimmers, auditor says

Posted: 2:46 PM, Aug 15, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-15 17:54:54-05

HAMILTON, Ohio -- Butler County inspectors have found three more credit card skimmers since Friday.

The one found Monday at a Circle K Marathon, at 5677 West Chester Road, is the third at that location, the auditor's office said.

"If you continue to buy gas at this location with a credit card, keep a close watch on your statement," Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds.

No larger than a thumb drive, skimmers pose a major threat to consumers and their credit card information. Rigged and wired to fit the inside of gas pumps, credit card skimmers are completely invisible to consumers and retailers. Once installed, thieves can commit electronic identity theft by getting a hold of their victims' banking and credit card information.

The devices first started appearing in northern Ohio about two years ago. So far, inspectors have found 18 in Butler County, five of them since mid-July.

RELATED: What makes skimming easier for thieves

Older pumps are easier targets, Reynolds said, and Marathon and Mobil stations have been hit most often: Eleven of the 18 skimmers have been found at these stations. Inspectors have pulled skimmers from two BPs, two Shells and two Sunoco stations.

Kroger and Thorntons fuel stations appear to be the most secure, Reynolds said.

Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes previously said locations right off the freeway seem to be easy targets, too.

The Butler County Auditor's Office hired an extra inspector, and the office does weekly skimmer checks of every gas pump at about 100 service stations in the county.

Drivers should check for a sticker over the door of the gas pump to see if the seal has been broken, and anyone who sees something unusual should report it.

Reynolds also warns drivers should never use a debit card, because thieves can steal the card's PIN.

The safest bet, though, is to pay inside.