Alleged gas pump skimmers' plot foiled in Friendswood by off-duty cop

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Off-duty officer foils suspects' plot to install gas pump skimmers (KTRK)

Friendswood police say two men were out to get credit card information.

The pair was reportedly attempting to set up skimming devices at the Smart Shop on FM2351 and Blackhawk Blvd in the middle of the night. Authorities said the attempt to install a skimmer at the gas pump was foiled when an off-duty officer caught them in the act.

Lorenzo Batista, 18, and Raul Martinez, 21, were pulled over and arrested. When police searched the suspects' car, officers found drug paraphernalia, a laptop computer, along with different types of wiring and burglary tools.

Investigators said one of the suspects even had keys that unlocked the gas pumps.

Detectives said they are seeing more and more of this type of crime.

People who use credit or debit cards in the area should be careful, and check twice when using an ATM or a gas pump.

Here are a few tips to avoid being a victim of skimming:

--Anytime you use an ATM, or pay at the pump, check the card reader to make sure it isn't crooked or loose. These fake card readers look like the real thing, but are typically held on by double-sided tape.

--Make it a habit to use your hand to cover the view as you put in your PIN number, thieves are also using small cameras to capture your PIN.

--When filling up, choose the pump closest to the attendant. Skimming crooks typically choose gas pumps farthest away from the attendant, or in the shadows.

Related Topics:
identity theftcredit cardsfraudskimmingFriendswood
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