Ohio county auditors launch statewide skimmer sweep


Staff report

COLUMBIANA

Columbiana County Auditor Nancy Milliken joined 60 other county auditors from across the state Wednesday to launch a “Skimmer Sweep” over the Labor Day Weekend to protect holiday travelers from illegal credit-card skimmers.

More than 80 weights and measures inspectors are expected to visit more than 1,500 gas stations at targeted locations, checking more than 12,000 Ohio gas pumps for the devices.

At least 30 skimming devices have been found in Ohio gas pumps since October, most in southwest Ohio and along the I-75 corridor.

Milliken said the frequent discovery of these devices indicates that the threat of this crime will continue, so consumers should be alert when refueling. Report anything that indicates a pump has been tampered with.

“Paying for gas with cash is always the safest option,” she said.

Customers paying with plastic should use credit cards rather than debit cards. Those who use debit cards at the pump risk PIN numbers being stolen.

Monthly bank and credit-card statements should always be reviewed for any fraudulent charges.

Credit-card skimmers can be used to steal credit-card and debit-card numbers as well as PIN numbers for the purpose of identity theft. These devices often are equipped with Bluetooth technology, which allow identity thieves to access private information from a distance up to 100 yards away.

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