Credit card skimmers found at two Austin-area gas stations

An example of a card skimmer that fits on the outside of the card reader. (Travis County Sheriff's Office)
An example of a card skimmer that fits on the outside of the card reader. (Travis County Sheriff's Office)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the past week, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office has discovered multiple illegal devices used to steal credit card information, known as credit card skimmers, concealed at two gas stations throughout the Austin-area.

Detectives found two skimmers at one gas station in Wells Branch and at one station on on Highway 71 in Southwest Travis County. Roger Wade, a spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, says the department is not putting the word out about specific stations in order to protect the businesses’ reputations.

An internal credit card skimmer attached inside the pump. (Travis County Sheriff's Office)
An internal credit card skimmer attached inside the pump. (Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

Wade says the department inspected about 60 gas stations within the county in a proactive search effort to discover the skimming devices. While deputies did not locate any skimmers initially, they left business owners with information about what to look for. Since that time, the department found three illegal devices, at least one of which the department attributes to the outreach to the stations.

Skimmers are mostly internal devices that work off Bluetooth, which requires the suspects to come back to download the illegally obtained card information.

To avoid being a victim of credit card theft, consumers are urged to pay inside and to notify the gas station if the card reader is loose, which could potentially mean the device has been tampered with. Wade also advises against the use of debit cards at the pump, as scammers are able to obtain pin numbers and drain individual accounts.

Credit card skimmer found by the Travis County Sheriff's Office in May 2016. (Travis County Sheriff's Office)
Credit card skimmer found by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office in May 2016. (Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s