Identity Theft At The Gas Pump

ID theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Between 8 and 12 million people could be victims in a single year. Thieves are using extraordinary measures to steal your money.

"Went to the hotel and were surprised by what we found," said Dan Taylor, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Postal inspectors got a tip to search a hotel room after a suspect was arrested with several stolen cards.

"We opened the door and there was a spotting scope with a video camera pointed out the window," said Taylor.

The camera was pointing at a gas station where the suspect in custody had placed a skimming device on a pump.

"He recorded 40 hours worth of transactions and he was also logging pin numbers as he was watching his victims," said Taylor.

The suspect had all the magnetic strip information on each credit card along with the numbers - the perfect storm for ID theft.

"Many times what these ID thieves are after is quick cash," said Taylor. "With counterfeit credit cards we see a lot of cash advances basically bleed the card for every bit it is worth."

Gas pumps are often a target.

"If the machine doesn't look right, don't use it," said Erin Spilker, Lincoln Police Officer. "Maybe go inside the store to verify that something doesn't look right. It's a good idea to just cover up the number as you're typing it in. This would avoid people that are looking on from somewhere else to be able to see what your pin number is."

"Many times the scammers are keeping close surveillance on their skimming device," said Taylor. "If law enforcement can be notified maybe we can catch them in the act."

And prevent it from happening in your neighborhood.

In this case, the suspect was convicted on ID theft charges and is serving prison time.