The Clay County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit continues its investigation into a rash of financial fraud cases that involve possible “skimming” devices used by thieves to steal victims' credit card information without actually stealing the cards.
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying three men photographed using fictitious credit cards created with stolen credit card information to buy cartons of cigarettes, gift cards, gas and other items at various locations.
According to Clay County Detective Wayne Simandl, criminals can install a device on the inside of a gasoline pump in a matter of seconds.
"The pump front opens a lot like a refrigerator and you can open it up, unplug the credit card skimmers and slide you device in line with the wiring harness."
Simandl says there are a few things you can do to try and protect yourself:
- Check to see if there's a piece of tape stretched across the top of the pump. Make sure it's not ripped or stretched.
- Tug on the card reader itself. If it comes off in your hand it’s a fake.
- Check your credit card/bank statements. If you see any suspicious transactions, cancel the card first, then call the police.
Nearly 30-people have been victimized, all of them in the Oakleaf/Argyle area. Unfortunately, Simandl says no one knows exactly when or where the crimes actually took place.
"Sometimes the data can be sat on for a couple of weeks or longer and not used until a certain period of time has passed to make it more difficult for law enforcement to track it."