Paying at the pump allowed identity thieves to fill up phony credit cards with customer's account numbers. Fact Finders discovers skimming devices had been planted inside pumps at three stations in northwest Omaha.
One customer named Tonya who asked we not use her last name said her bank notified her of a suspicious gas purchase in California for about $100. Tonya said, "We just don't know how much information they have so we are watching our credit closely" She is not alone and several reports in the same area lead investigators to look for skimming. That's when small hard drive devices are attached inside a gas pump.
Secret Service Agent in Charge of the Omaha office John Gutsmiedl told Fact Finders its likely hackers passing through the area used universal keys to open pumps and install the small devices in minutes. The hackers then come back through the area a few months later and retrieve the skimming devices then download the credit and debit card numbers used at the pump. Gutsmiedl said, 'They load the information in a decoding device then swipe blank cards and that puts your account information on those cards." Gutsmiedl said the hackers pull up to pumps at night or with vans that hide them from clerks inside gas stations and convenience stores.
Douglas County sheriff's investigators believes the skimming devices had been on pumps from September through the first week in January. Fact Finders talked to another victim who also had a California gas charge show up on her debit card account.
As in this case the skimmer aren't discovered until victims file reports of suspicious purchases and investigators check stations and then pumps.