Skimmers put inside Pearland gas pumps to steal credit, debit card info

It's nothing police have seen before, and because it's placed inside the gas pump, you'll never know until your money is gone
April 30, 2014 7:00:29 AM PDT
Police say drivers need to be on the lookout. Crooks using skimmers placed inside gas pumps are copying debit card information and using it to drain bank accounts from drivers in Pearland and across our area.

This type of skimmer is nothing police have seen before and because it's placed inside the gas pump, customers would never know someone is stealing their information until the money is gone.

More than 20 people who fueled up at two Murphy USA locations in the city had their bank accounts drained after police say a man put a debit card skimmer inside the gas pump.

Police say the suspect uploaded stolen debit card information and PIN numbers on to fake cards and then used them to withdraw a lot of cash from local ATMs.

"Right now we are up to $17,000," Pearland Police Detective John DeSpain said.

DeSpain says the device puts a new twist on stealing debit card information.

"That's the first time I have seen anything like that. Every skimming device I have seen has been external. This is the first internal I have seen," DeSpain said.

DeSpain says drivers cannot see the skimmer and have no idea their information is stolen until they check their bank accounts. The device is now in the hands of the Secret Service but that is little comfort to drivers.

"It's pretty scary and it would be frustrating," Pearland driver Jennifer Alle said.

So far, only debit cards have been used fraudulently.

Pearland police believe the suspect may have done the same thing at other gas stations throughout the area. If you have seen the person in our story, please call Pearland police.


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