Authorities find credit card skimmer at Madison County gas station

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala - Five skimmer devices were discovered at the Marathon at the corner of Hwy 72 and Slaughter Road this week.

Madison County Sheriff's Office investigators say the devices work by Bluetooth and they're not sure how long they've been there.

Authorities are investigating what happened. Since they don't know how long the skimmers were on the pumps, they don't know how many people could be affected.

Authorities have suggested people pull on card readers at gas stations to check if a skimmer is on the machine for years.

"They will usually replicate whatever that card reader looks like, the outside of it. And they will place their device in the magnetic strip on the card, where that goes," Cody Locke with the Madison County Sheriff's Office said.

But the criminal who targeted the Marathon gas station used something else to steal drivers' information

"It's crazy and I'm a former cop, so it's more frustrating because you want to catch the guy," Property owner J Spencer said.

When the technician stopped to help a customer at the pump,  he inspected the card reader, and that's when he found the Bluetooth skimmer.

"This is the inside of the card reader and there would be a device that would attach to the card reader and the pin pad, so they would be able to get the information," technician Kevlin Wyatt said.

"And it transmits through Bluetooth so they could pull up in the parking lot dial into them, download the data," Spencer explained.

There are ways to tell the card reader has been tampered with, check the safety seal and make sure it isn't torn.

"If that sticker has been altered in any way, or if there is one missing entirely, they should avoid that gas pump," Locke said.

Some scammers will replicate the sticker. It should have certain features.

"It will have the brand of the gas station on it, but it should have a serial number like this and some other identifying factor," Spencer said.

There are card readers made that can actually thwart these kinds of scammers. The Marathon property owner says those new card readers will be installed here at each one of his pumps by July 9th.

Officials from the Madison County Sheriff's Office are asking people who bought gas at Marathon within the past two months to check their bank statements for fraudulent purchases.


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