Auditor and FBI conduct skimmer sweep


Skimming crime receiving increased attention from federal law enforcement

Staff Report



<strong>Karl Keith and Joe Harris Inspect a pump during FBI Skimmer Sweep.</strong>

Karl Keith and Joe Harris Inspect a pump during FBI Skimmer Sweep.


Contributed photo

DAYTON — Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith is working with the FBI to help catch credit card thieves. Keith directed a countywide sweep for illegal credit card skimming devices at gas pumps over the weekend of July 13 in cooperation with FBI agents. Fortunately, no skimming devices were discovered.

Keith and his weights and measures inspectors checked more than 1,000 gas pumps at more than 120 gas stations for skimming devices during the sweep. Inspectors will be performing regular pump inspections throughout the county all summer, and will continue to search for skimmers during these checks.

The threat of credit card skimmers is real, it is ongoing, and it needs to be taken seriously, according to Keith.

“I’m glad our efforts to address this crime have attracted the attention of the FBI,” said Keith. “We will continue to work with the FBI to help catch these criminals and keep consumers safe.”

The growing skimming crime has attracted the attention of federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI has indicated that stopping this crime is one of their top priorities here in Ohio and has reached out to county auditors to assist in their efforts.

Over both the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday weekends, the Secret Service performed nationwide skimmer sweeps that uncovered more than 70 skimmers. Last year, more than a dozen people were charged in a federal indictment related to credit card skimming in Northeast Ohio.

The credit card skimming crime has become increasingly prevalent in the state. More than 100 devices have been found in Ohio gas pumps since 2015. During Keith’s last sweep, in April, five credit card skimmers were found in Montgomery County. This instance marked the most skimmers ever publicly found over a three-day period in a single county in Ohio.

Protecting consumers is the ultimate goal of the Auditor’s Office, according to Keith. Although no skimmers were found in the sweep, consumers should still be careful when filling up their tanks.

“Consumers should not be worried, but they should be cautious and vigilant while filling up at the pump,” Keith said. “If you witness suspicious activity, do not hesitate to contact the authorities.”

Keith recommends consumers take the following measures to protect their financial information from skimmers:

• Pay with cash. It’s the safest option.

• Use a credit card rather than a debit card when using plastic. It’s easier to challenge fraudulent charges when a credit card is used.

• Use pumps closest to the attendant, as criminals often target the pumps farther away.

• Monitor bank and credit card statements frequently.

• Report anything that indicates a pump has been tampered with.

Consumers interested in learning more about how to protect themselves from the skimming crime can visit Keith’s Stop Skimmers webpage at www.mcohio.org/StopSkimmers.

Karl Keith and Joe Harris Inspect a pump during FBI Skimmer Sweep.
https://www.hhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/07/web1_FBI_Skimmer_Sweep.jpgKarl Keith and Joe Harris Inspect a pump during FBI Skimmer Sweep. Contributed photo
Skimming crime receiving increased attention from federal law enforcement

Staff Report