Beware credit-card skimmers

Staff report


Columbiana County Auditor Nancy Milliken is warning county motorists that credit-card scamming devices, known as skimmers, have been found in various Ohio counties and contribute to the growing problem of credit-card theft.

Milliken has directed Terry Madison, her weights and measurer inspector, to attempt to locate any skimmers that might be illegally installed on gasoline pumps found in Columbiana County.

It was noted that when a credit card is run through a skimmer, the small device stores the cardholder’s data. Once the credit information is obtained, the thief can then sell the information or clone the credit card.

The skimmers are normally located inside the pump and not viewable by the general public, so anything that seems out of place or indicates that a pump might have been tampered with should be reported to the station attendant or the local police.

When debit cards are used at a pump, PINs can be stolen, and banks are not responsible. Bank statements should be reviewed.

While not a responsibility of the auditor’s Weights and Measurer Department, Milliken is stepping up the pump inspection and educating the gas station employees in an effort to deter the use of credit-card skimmers.

Though not mandated, Milliken has recommended that security tapes be used on local gas pumps as a method of knowing whether a pump has been tampered with.

It is suggested that motorists look for security tape, or ask the local gas station if they are taking any action to protect against skimming devices. Milliken hopes to compile a list of these local stations that are using some form of prevention and hopes to publish that list in the near future.

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