CINCINNATI -- Inspectors found three credit card skimmers on three different gas pumps Thursday, according to a release from Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes.
Weights and Measures inspectors found a wireless skimmer at Sunoco on Sharon Road; they also found two skimmers in two pumps at BP on Omniplex Drive.
These tiny devices (which are no larger than a thumb drive) pose a major threat to consumers and their credit card information. Rigged and wired to the inside of gas pumps, credit card skimmers are completely invisible to consumers and retailers.
The skimmers were found randomly, Rhodes said in the release. The Weights and Measures department has been more aggressive in their searches since July 2016, after 17 skimmers were found on pumps across southern Ohio in a span of just 9 months.
Rhodes said inspectors have been searching pumps across Hamilton County as a precaution; two skimmers were found at a Monroe Shell station on Feb. 17.
The owner of the BP on Omniplex Drive told Rhodes in January that he would be replacing the locks on the pumps, but “had failed to do so as of earlier this week,” according to the release.
Rhodes said it is important for consumers to make sure the security seal (a sticker located on the door of the pump -- usually on the side) is not broken or tampered with. If it is, do not swipe your card and alert personnel immediately.
It’s also best to use a credit card or cash when purchasing gas. If you run your debit card through a skimmer, thieves can access your PIN.
Rhodes said inspectors checked all other pumps in the Hamilton County area and did not find anymore skimmers.